While on a cruise with my family, I received a message from a doctor facing a sentencing hearing. He hadn’t worked with our team but asked me to review his sentencing statement. As a courtesy, I did. And like so many people, including Jose Huizar, he missed the mark. 

In that statement, he reiterated that he never attended medical school intending to defraud, genuinely wants to make his victims whole, and acknowledges the pressures he faced.

It’s an honest message, but is it the right message to secure a shorter sentence?

The truth is, the judge already knows he didn’t enter medical school with nefarious intentions. They understand that we all face pressures in life, and they acknowledge our desire to make amends to our victims. 

Here is the main problem with his letter: He has yet to make a plan with his Judge. He wasted two years leading up to his sentencing. Imagine what he could have accomplished during this time. 

If the goal is a shorter prison sentence, do more than issue empty words and platitudes. You must show progress.

Remember, it’s not enough to tell the judge what you intend to do; you must show evidence of change.

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Justin Paperny