NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey has appealed the sentences of a former Army major and his wife convicted last year of endangering their three young foster children.
John Jackson was sentenced to probation. Carolyn Jackson was sentenced to two years in prison. The U.S. attorney’s office had sought 15 to 20 years for them.
Prosecutors presented evidence the children had broken bones and other serious health problems and were severely underweight when they were removed from the family home in 2010. An older sibling testified the children were beaten regularly and forced to eat hot pepper flakes as punishment.
Defense attorneys argued the Jacksons’ child-rearing methods might have been objectionable to some people but weren’t criminal.
The government argued in its appeal Thursday the judge should’ve used federal sentencing guidelines for assault that would’ve recommended longer sentences.