Eleanor’s Trousers, the original breaker of this story to the blogging world at large, has an update on what is meant by an open sentencing in the state of Iowa from the woman who reported this story:
Some individuals who have commented to the various postings on Payne have stated that he is scheduled to have an “open sentencing” on Aug. 11 at the Buena Vista County Courthouse, and that anyone who attends will have an opportunity to speak. This is not totally correct.
An “open sentencing” in the state of Iowa means that the public can attend, but not that the public can speak. While it always looks good to have people show up in support of the prosecution — and I’d personally really like to see some strong support in the courtroom — the fact is that not everyone is going to be able to speak.
For those who have a unique interest in the case… for instance, have served as advocates or can somehow speak with authority as to how horrible Payne’s actions were… get in touch with me.
If you want to share your (civil) thoughts about this incident prior to sentencing, your best bet is to write to the judge that will preside over the sentencing:
District Court Judge Don E. Courtney
Buena Vista County Courthouse
215 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588
I’d encourage those with an interest to write a letter to the judge – civil and polite, as Ms. Waddington suggests.
(Thanks to Eleanor for the update.)