Lora Lee Singleton, 42, of Portland, Or., had what a judge called an “unrelenting” rap sheet marked by a two-decade-long pattern of drug addiction and prostitution. The Oregonian reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Jones was so dismayed that he considered veering from the federal sentencing guidelines, which called for a sentence between nine and 15 months. He told Singleton he was thinking of handing down the maximum sentence of three years. The judge offered Singleton an unusual choice: 15 months or three years in prison? If she took the lesser sentence, she’d be supervised for one year by the court after she finished her prison term and be ordered to go through drug treatment. If she opted for the maximum, she’d do her time and be done with it.
“My experience is people like you do a lot better when they are completely on their own,” Jones said, adding that “the so-called drug-treatment programs are, in my experience, failures. A prosecutor said that in the latest case, Singleton housed a nephew, “a dangerous felon, assisted him in various ways and lied to the authorities about him while he committed new crimes.” She asked for the 15-month term. Jones imposed the sentence and said he wished he could place her under court supervision for five years after her release from prison instead of one.