George Sanders, 86, was arrested last fall for killing his wife Virginia, 81. Virginia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969 and more recently with gangrene on her foot. George was his wife’s sole caregiver, however his own health was deteriorating. When George was arrested for his wife’s murder last fall, he was charged with first-degree murder. He claimed that his wife begged for him to kill her as she was facing hospital admission and then a nursing home for the rest of her life. George subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter and faced a sentence of up to 12 years in prison. At sentencing, the prosecution asked the judge not to sentence George to prison, stating “I don’t know where our society is going with cases like this, judge . . . At his point in time, what Mr. Sanders did was a crime.” The prosecution also noted the “very unique, difficult circumstances of [the] case.” Ultimately, the judge sentenced George to probation, a sentence that the judge believes “tempers justice with mercy.”
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