One year ago this week, a former student murdered her newborn baby. At the time that her child would have been celebrating its first birthday, Christina Fiske has been sentenced to between 94 and 122 months active jail time in a state correctional facility as the result of a plea bargain.
Many people are saying that the plea bargain was light. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics criminal sentencing statistics, the average sentence for violent offenses in 1996 was 105 months in prison.
On average, felons in this category only served about 78 months of their sentence. The average sentence all together that year for those felons sent to state prisons was five years, but “were more likely to serve almost a half (45%) of that sentence.”
So, how long will Fiske spend in prison for the murder of her child, now known as Jessica Nicole?
The chances are that Fiske will serve the minimum amount of time decided in her plea bargain. If statistics hold true, Fiske will serve about the same amount of time as someone convicted and sent to state prison for felony drug possession.
How does the court decide that this is fair?
Many people who were friends or family of Fiske pleaded for leniency in Fiske’s sentencing, but with the exception of the judge, no one seemed to be pleading for the memory of Jessica Nicole.
The only other support for Jessica Nicole was from a small group of advocates wearing colored ribbons in memory of what would have been the girl’s first birthday.
What’s wrong with people? Students at Western don’t seem to feel this way, but the community surrounding Fiske shows sympathy and pity for her, when the judge and law enforcement agents seem to be the only ones feeling sympathy and pity for Jessica Nicole.
Some speculate, however, that due to the amazing amount of sympathy for Fiske, that Fiske would have walked had her case been decided by a jury. This would make good reasoning, supposedly, for the district attorney to offer a plea bargain: some punishment’s better than none at all.
No matter what the statistics say, or what the court decided, many people feel that while Fiske doesn’t deserve the death penalty for her crime, she doesn’t deserve to be free in eight years, either.