One Maryland judge appears to have a height requirement for prison sentences.

The Capital Gazette has the details of why five-foot-one Marcus Freeman of Annapolis was spared a long sentence for stabbing his girlfriend, her friend and his own brother:

“I’m going to take a little mercy on you, because I think you’re going to be lunchmeat in the Division of Correction,” said Judge Paul A. Hackner before handing down an 18-month sentence in county Circuit Court in Annapolis.

Freeman, 25, of Newtowne Drive, previously pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault stemming from a triple stabbing at Woodside Garden Apartments in Annapolis last summer.

An Alford plea allows a person to maintain his innocence, while admitting the state has enough evidence to convict.

The judge didn't pull this reasoning out of thin air. Freeman's defense attorney argued that he'd grabbed the knife used in the stabbing in order to defend himself -- something he felt he had to do on account of his size. The attorney also argued that Freeman's sentence should be crafted to send him to county jail instead of state prison, where any sentence longer than 18 months would be served.

The judge, while giving the light sentence, said he found this reasoning ironic, given the Facebook photos of Freeman posing with guns that were presented to the court.

“It’s funny. You’re trying to be a tough man, a thug of Facebook,” Hackner said, according to the Capital Gazette. “But when it comes down to it, your attorney is saying you don’t want to go to (a state prison) because you’re a little guy?”

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