‘Breaking Bad’: What Sentence Should Walt and Skyler Get? [Poll]
Be the “Breaking Bad” judge and jury. At the bottom of this article, take our Lawyers.com poll. Mark the sentences you’d hand down to Walter and Skyler White, then compare your views to other readers.
Highlights of “Rabid Dog”
The last episode titled “Rabid Dog,” referred to a breakdown in the master and servant relationship of Walt, the crystal meth drug lord, and Jesse Pinkman, his dutiful assistant. After figuring out Walt poisoned his girlfriend’s son, Jesse turns on him, pouring gas throughout the Whites’ home to burn it down. Their shared lawyer, Saul Goodman, suggests Walt end the drama, referring to “Old Yeller” a rabid dog, who eventually had to shot by his owner.
Jesse’s final words in brief phone call to Walt threaten, “I’m going to get you where you live.”
Walt responds by calling the Todd Alquist. Walt earlier had arranged for Todd’s uncle to murder imprisoned members of the drug operation, so they could not testify as witnesses. Walt calmly says, “Todd, I think I might have another job for your uncle.”
Crime and Punishment by the Book (United States Code)
Most state statutes are similar to federal laws. Hank works at the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Walt’s crimes have crossed state and country borders, thus federal statutes apply.
If convicted of possessing, manufacturing, selling and distributing a controlled substance and engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, under 21 USC Section 848, Walt could be sentenced to prison for a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison. If convicted of being the principle leader of the enterprise (“Heisenberg”), under this section, Walt could be sentenced to life imprisonment. He would be eligible for the federal death penalty, if convicted of intentionally killing or causing the killing of another person, while furthering the continuation of a criminal enterprise (the crystal meth drug operation).
If Skyler were convicted of money laundering under 18 USC Section 1956, she could be forced to forfeit $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater and imprisoned for a maximum of 20 years.
If Walt succeeds in arranging for Jesse’s killing, he could be found guilty of murder. Usually homicide falls within state jurisdiction. However, if Todd’s uncle kills Jesse, Walt could be charged under federal laws for retaliating against a witness or informant 18 USC Section 1513, and could sentenced to life imprisonment or the death penalty under 18 USC Section 1111. The penalties range from minimum of 20 years in prison, life imprisonment or the death penalty, with a conviction under 21 USC Section 848.
If Skyler were convicted of conspiracy in Jesse’s homicide, she would be eligible for the same penalties as Walt under 18 USC Section 1513 or 21 USC Section 848.