During a motion to have his sentence reconsidered by the judge based on mistakes made in the pre-sentence investigation report regarding Lawrence’s criminal history, Pater said he was going to agree to the re-sentencing in part because a personal situation in his family might have caused him to be too harsh in his sentence, according to prosecutors.
Pater agreed to recuse himself from re-sentencing based on his statements.
“The state believes it has a legal and ethical duty to inform you of this recusal,” Gmoser wrote in a letter to defense attorneys.
Gmoser told the Journal-News that, “The family occurrence occurred 10 years ago, so we have a 10-year period of time when potentially the judge, by his admission, has harbored a bias with respect to these types of cases therefore under those circumstances … I am required to go back through those cases and sent letters to the attorneys and defendants.”
Pater said in an interview with the Journal-News that when the case came back to him for post conviction relief he told the prosecutor’s office appellate division and the appellate attorney in chambers he had rethought the sentence.
“I indicated that there was something else mulling around in my brain and that was I had had thoughts since the sentencing that the sentence was perhaps too high, too stiff, too many years,” Pater said “That wasn’t the driving factor (for the re-sentencing) but the fact that there were legal problems did give me a opportunity to reassess that length of time that I gave him.”