Two young men who terrorized Linda Muncrief of Oklahoma got a penalty of 75 days in jail in a local court. Federal prosecutors, employing a rarely used law, prevented their release from the Carter County jail Nov. 2, reports the Oklahoman. Last week, a federal grand jury indicted the admitted armed robbers on two felony counts almost identical to those for which they already served 75 days in jail.
Under federal sentencing guideline calculations, they face a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted. Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd was so angered by the crime, he didn’t offer a plea agreement. U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling heard about the case and authorized the use of “the Petite Policy,” named after a defendant prosecuted in the late 1950s. The Petite Policy allows federal prosecutors to file charges when they determine that justice wasn’t served at the state court level – even if the local prosecution resulted in a conviction. It has withstood appeals claiming the policy violates a defendant’s right not to be tried twice for the same crime. The Petite Policy is used sparingly and requires approval from Justice Department officials in Washington.