The L.A. Times reports that Lane Garrison has been sentenced to 3 years, 4 months — but is agnostic on how much time he’ll actually serve:
On Wednesday, the actor, a former co-star on the Fox TV show “Prison Break,” was sentenced to 40 months in state prison. He had pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in May. His attorney Harland Braun said he expected Garrison would serve 20 months, minus about 91 days already served, but the prosecutor said he thought the actor would serve 85% of the sentence.
So who’s right? To that question, L.A. Times editors offer only one big shrug of the shoulders. Hey, one side says one thing, and the other side says something else. How are we supposed to get to the bottom of that?
Except that, unlike many things in life, there is a actual right answer to this question.
I’d give you the answer, but I can’t, because I don’t have enough information. Unlike the folks at the L.A. Times, I don’t know precisely what Garrison pled to, or how the 40-month sentence was calculated. I have no inside knowledge of this case, and news reports offer contradictory information about the precise offenses and allegations Garrison was charged with and pled to. I have tried to figure out how the judge arrived at a 40-month sentence from the various charges I have read that Garrison pled to, and I can’t figure it out. If I knew the answer to that question, I would be able to say with certainty whether he will receive 50% or 85% credit.
But I know this much: there is a right answer out there. And the paper should have obtained it and reported it.
Why didn’t the L.A. Times get an answer on this? Are they so used to churning out “he said, she said” journalism that they don’t recognize those situations where there is a definitive right answer?
UPDATE: Dave points out that my office issued a press release that clarified the offenses to which Garrison pled. But it doesn’t explain how the 40-month sentence was reached.
UPDATE x2: Making matters worse, I mistakenly called it “3 years, 8 months” initially, until a commenter noted my error. Everything I have read has said 40 months.
UPDATE x3: JRM has a plausible explanation here.