What do you think is an appropriate penalty for a young woman who hits an old lady in the face?
When Judge Robert Noonan had to give a ruling on a case of this nature in 2011, he was pretty clear that it should be a five year sentence. At least, this is what he decided for 27 year-old Jacquetta Simmons who punched 70-year-old Walmart cashier Grace Suozzi on Christmas Eve of that year. During a dispute regarding a receipt, Simmons issued Suozzi a roundhouse punch to the face. Despite the fact that that the assault drove Suozzi into a reclusive state such that she can no longer work, Simmons still managed to obtain a reduction in sentence in appellate court this week.
By the state law known as "Granny Law" under which Simmons was originally sentenced, an assault on a 65-year-old individual by someone ten years or more their junior is deemed a felony.
However, the argument her attorney made to the appeals was that a five-year sentence is unheard of in that state for a person who has no prior conviction of a Class D felony. She continued to maintain the assault was accidental, insisting that she was only pulling her arm away from a different employee as Simmons attempted to leave, and that Grace’s injury was a mere casualty.
See the security footage at the end of the video to decide if you agree:
As a result of this appeal, Jacquetta’s five year sentence has now been reduced to a one year sentence in an upstate jail.
Expressing his disapproval at the new ruling, Judge Noonan, said, "The sentence imposed by me previously is obviously the sentence I thought appropriate for this case," adding, "The appellate division has the authority to modify the sentence and has done so."
Back in November 2012, Grace explained, “I do not have a normal life anymore. She has taken away my health that I worked so hard to maintain without medication. Now I’m forced to be on blood pressure and pain medication.”
Simmons previously said in court, “I just want to say how truly sorry I am, about the incident that happened. I hate that Grace and her family had to endure all the things that they're going through right now.”
Removing personal responsibility is a classic way of issuing an inauthentic apology. Then again, one wouldn't expect a genuine mea culpa when her attorneys are also appealing the $2,100 in restitution Simmons was ordered to pay to Suozzi.
Image via Youtube