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Monday, September 26, 2011

James Ray is Not Sentenced Yet

ADD: Always get all the latest information by clicking on the top on my name above the camera.  The judge has now set a new sentencing date. For that, click here

Whatever happened to that sweat lodge guy from the Secret, James Arthur Ray?

Many of the people coming to this site are using search terms that amount to some version of that.

Here's a quick rundown:

In June, James Ray was convicted on three counts of Negligent Homicide.  He was acquitted of the heavier charge of Manslaughter for the same three victims.  This part of the trial, the beginning, is called the "guilt" phase.

In Arizona, sentencing typically does not take place right away. After conviction on the crime itself, the defendant then faces the prosecutor again in the "aggravation" phase. In this case, the prosecutor won a jury verdict of guilty on the aggravator that the crime caused serious harm to the victim and their families.  This allows the judge to sentence James Ray to a stiffer sentence. But even after this, the case is not ready for sentencing.

The third phase begins and it is the defense's turn. The defense now does their best to give the judge a reason to give Ray a lesser sentence.  This is called the "mitigation phase."  These mitigation hearings typically talk about a defendant's horrible or alternatively his/her accomplished childhood depending on which is the case, his good track record leading up to the crime and steps he may have already taken to make restitution or otherwise "mitigate" his/her bad behavior. Examples would be achieving an Eagle Scout as a kid or suffering abuse and entering foster care as a child; no prior record or being a philanthropist; entering drug rehab before trial or returning stolen money voluntarily before arrest.

This third phase is where the James Ray trial is stuck right now. The date to begin it has been "vacated" or abandoned several times for a variety of reasons.

That's why you are not seeing major news stories on Ray for the last several weeks, because there is no major news. The case is mired in legal bickering, administrative wrangling and, most recently, an attorney's heart attack (which they are arguing over, as well. Of course they are.).

The good news is once the mitigation phase finally gets under way, actual sentencing is not far behind. The defense puts on witnesses, then the prosecution. Shortly thereafter, the Judge pronounces sentence.

For more details on what he might be sentenced to and other trial questions, please explore this site. Click on the JAMES RAY label at the top of the "cloud" below to the left in the sidebar and you are sure to find many of your questions already answered.

Thanks so much for visiting.

While you're waiting for Ray to be sentenced, why not try out one of my books? They are all available wherever books are sold, including for e-readers. Click the links below to get started!

Author Camille Kimball at the Ray trial

Camille Kimball's books:
The Mammoth Book of Tough Guys
Coming soon: Masters of True Crime-Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre


  1. Finally, someone who can tell us what is going on! Thanks.