Yesterday’s sentencing of Kiernan Brown on two counts of murder seems to have revealed a professional feud between Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina and Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon.
The judge slapped Brown Wednesday with a 70-to-100-year prison term for the 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock and Julie Mooney. That pronouncement came two years after Aquilina rejected a plea deal from Siemon’s office that called for the killer to receive a 30-year minimum sentence.
"Carol Siemon should step down for what she's done in this case and countless other cases that I have rejected pleas on," said Aquilina according to news reports.
Siemon was not in court yesterday to hear Aquilina’s statement, but she responded to the comments in an email to the Lansing State Journal.
"The judge has a right to her own personal opinions and she has chosen to use the bench frequently for her own agenda and to personally attack me. I choose to not do the same. My heart has always been with the victims and their loved ones," Siemon said.
"As the elected prosecutor, I have a responsibility for making the tough calls and I stand by all of the work that I’ve done. For the past six-plus years, I have reported out to the public on this work, including our reforms, to sentencing and charging practices. My responsibility is to do my best to hold people responsible for the harm they cause others while also ensuring that the criminal legal system is fair, ethical, and just," Siemon replied to the newspaper.
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