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...the Federal Sentencing Guidelines judges may consider aggravating circumstances when sentencing decisions. A typical aggravating circumstance that applies to elder abuse is if the defendant took advantage of a position of trust or confidence to commit the offense. (text pg 321) Before a judge can impose a sentence, a jury has to find a defendant guilty. It is often difficult to obtain a guilty verdict in a case involving elder abuse, as the case against Ms. Hernandez illustrated. Medicine and the law are not yet able to adequately answer the difficult questions facing doctors, courts and families in regards to elder abuse.
“Elderly health care: The Line between care and killing”
2005 National Center on Elder Abuse, Washington, D.C.
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