A week before sentencing, CBS News has obtained a memorandum submitted to the court by the attorneys representing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CBS News' Jeff Pegues reports.. In their argument for a lighter sentence the defense attorneys, Andy Savage and Donald McCune, say Slager did not lie about his conduct that day and they compare Slager's apparent memory loss to that of
Slager is scheduled to be sentenced next Monday, and one of the elements of the case being considered by the judge is whether he lied about his conduct and concocted a story about being attacked by Walter Scott. Scott, who was black, was shot and killed by the white police officer after a traffic stop in April 2015. In video captured by a bystander, Scott is seen running away from Slager who fired eight shots at his back.
Slager's attorneys claim expert testimony supports their assertion that memory formation, retention, and recall is affected by many factors. According to the memo, "In a danger, fear, or fight or flight situation, the chemistry affecting the brain that helps us survive also disrupts the memory…"
The defense attorneys argue that "memory is not static, and memory created under stress has many holes." The holes, they argue, are eventually filled in when outside information is incorporated with the help of having someone "fill in the blanks."
That is when Savage and McCune present their comparison to Sessions, highlighting the attorney general's testimony earlier this month, when he could not recall the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian operatives.
"As Sessions made clear in his statement, a failure to recall, or an inaccurate recollection, does not a liar make," they wrote in their brief. Screenshots of the excerpts are below:
State prosecutors failed to win a conviction -- the jury in the case deadlocked -- but Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge earlier this year. Slager is to be sentenced on December 4. Legal experts are saying the sentence could range from five to 20 years.