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Normally, isn't there a big pre-sentencing investigation and victim impact statements and stuff like that?

Not surprized about the withering rebuke and sentence, but that it occurred so immediately after the verdict.

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Nobody who would have given a victim impact statement wished to speak to the court: Erik Ortiz, NBC, "No victim impact statements". And the prosecution did not seek the death penalty: N'dea Yancey-Bragg, USA Today, "Former South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh sentenced to life after murder convictions".

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    plus: the judge hadn't even have any other option but Life in prison and thus didn't need to elaborate a lot on that either.
    – Trish
    Mar 4 at 0:03
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    @Trish The lack of discretion is the key issue. If there had been discretion the defendant would have had and would have exercised a right to make a statement prior to sentencing asking for leniency.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 4 at 2:07
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    @Trish To elaborate, GA normally requires 30-life or death for murder. The death penalty was not pursued, but an aggravating circumstance, double murder, made it mandatory life. (S.C. Code § 16-3-20 (B) and (C)(a)(9))
    – user71659
    Mar 4 at 2:11

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