Darrell Brooks' sentencing: What to expect

Darrell Brooks was tried and convicted on all 76 counts in the Waukesha Christmas parade attack. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 15 and 16, Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow will sentence Brooks.

Brooks will never be a free man again.

First-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory life sentence in Wisconsin, and the jury found Brooks guilty on six counts.

Judge Dorow has discretion over the other 70 counts, a decision that will come after victims have their chance to speak.

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All October long, the spotlight and priority were his, but come Tuesday, the scale tips back toward the victims of the Waukesha Christmas parade attack.

Darrell Brooks

"No one is really hearing their story, and so I think these types of sentencing proceedings really create a window of opportunity for the folks that have had to sit there for weeks and weeks," said Jon Cross, University of Wisconsin Law School professor. 

The Waukesha County District Attorney's Office said 36 people plan to speak or enter a written statement describing how Brooks' actions have impacted their lives.

"For the victims, for the people who are going to be speaking, it can be really intense," said Gross.

Gross said the big question isn't whether Brooks' sentence will be harsh but whether Brooks has any chance at parole, especially after a trial full of delays and disruptions.


Waukesha parade attack victims identified

"His behavior during the trial has done nothing to help his case that he should be made eligible for parole, at the very least," said Gross.

Brooks said he also has people that will speak on his behalf.

Then Judge Dorow will sentence him and explain her reasoning for the 70 other charges.

Gross said he expects a heavy sentence given the impact this crime had on all of Waukesha.

Darrell Brooks

"When it's something high-profile like this, I think judges have an additional kind of weight to help people heal and help the community to move on," said Gross.

Judge Dorow set Tuesday aside to hear as many speakers as possible before she's expected to render her decision Wednesday.

Brooks faces the consecutive six life sentences plus 859 years in prison.