Ultimately, the sentence is always up to the Judge. Defense counsel will always ask for a lighter sentence while the State will ask for a higher one assuming the lawyers have not already negotiated a deal. Here’s what not to say when the Judge asks you if you have anything to say:
- Then when I saw the murdered body, I ran outta the room like this (then run out of the courthouse).
- You talk pretty tough for someone who wears a dress.
- I don’t know why everyone else is mad with me. It was my dynamite that got blown up! Now all I have left is this one stick right here.
- If I am found innocent, can I keep the money I stole?
- You asked me who some of my heroes are? Well, there’s O.J. Simpson…
- Can we hurry this up? I have a shipment coming in in 30 minutes.
- I need a new lawyer. This one sucks.
Partially adapted from Clarence Darrow’s list with modifications.