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Judge quotes Ten Commandments when defendant cites God during sentencing

Dan Morse

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Paul Weinstein, one of the county's most experienced, turned a defendant's mention of God into an opportunity for a stern rebuke in court on Tuesday.

Ana Rodas, wife of Jose Alvarado -- who last week was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole fior his role in the slaying of an 83-year-old Wheaton woman, came before Weinstein to be sentenced for trying to help Alvarado get away with murder.

"I want to say that I am very sorry for the lady's family," Rodas said.

So far so good, perhaps, in the contrition department. A short time later, though, she said:

"In life we’re not perfect. We all make mistakes. Only God is perfect … I’m really sorry.”

“I’m kind of curious what Ms. Rodas just said about God," Weinstein said a short time later. "Because I think one of the Ten Commandments says, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ And I assume that she believes in the Ten Commandments.”

Weinstein handed her a five-year sentence, the maximum for the accessory charge.

When Alvarado appeared before Weinstein for his sentencing, he said nobody understood the financial pressures he'd been under. The judge asked him to look at police photos of the victim's beaten and burned body -- and sent him away for life in prison without the chance of parole.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  December 30, 2009; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , From the Courthouse , Montgomery  
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Comments

Good for the judge - the lady had forgotten that God is interested in justice as well as mercy.

Posted by: urbanaladay | December 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Judges spouting theology from the bench. Lovely.

I'd like my justice served without a side of supernatural mythology, thanks.

Posted by: web_user | December 31, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Web_user, your comment reflects a shocking lack of tolerance for someone with a different belief system than your own. The judge's quote referred to a pretty basic principle of human rights, that killing is wrong.

Posted by: StaffyOwner | January 5, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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