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  • ShereeKrider 10:11 pm on September 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , prison industrial complex, prison planet, ,   

    Marijuana Arrests Are Increasing Despite Legalization, New FBI Data Shows 


    Tom Angell Contributor i  Policy  

    Marijuana arrests are rising in the U.S., even as more states legalize cannabis.

    There is now an average of one marijuana bust roughly every 48 seconds, according to a new FBI report released on Monday.

    The increase in marijuana arrests—659,700 in 2017, compared to 653,249 in 2016—is driven by enforcement against people merely possessing the drug as opposed to selling or growing it, the data shows.

    Last year, there were 599,282 marijuana possession arrests in the country, up from 587,516 in 2016. Meanwhile, busts for cannabis sales and manufacturing dropped, from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017.

    The increase in cannabis possession arrests comes despite the fact that four additional states legalized marijuana on Election Day 2016.

    While among those states, legal recreational sales were only in effect in Nevada by the end of 2017, the prohibition on possession for adults was lifted soon after the successful votes there as well as in California, Maine and Massachusetts.

    “At a time when more than 100 deaths per day are caused by opioid overdoses, it is foolish to focus our limited law enforcement resources on a drug that has caused literally zero,” Don Murphy, federal policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project said in an interview.

    “Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” added NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”

    Overall, marijuana arrests made up 40.4% of the nation’s 1,632,921 drug arrests in 2017.

    Drug arrests as a whole also increased last year, up from 1,572,579 in 2016.

    There is now a drug bust every 19 seconds in the U.S.

    I’m a 15-year veteran of the cannabis law reform movement, and I know where to look to spot the most interesting legalization developments. I’m the editor of the cannabis news site Marijuana Moment, and I founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow me on Twitter to s…

    MORE

    Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter.

    CONTINUE READING…

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    medical-marijuana2

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:11 pm on April 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , incarceration, Judge Robert Carter, , , prison industrial complex, , , , , unalienable rights   

    (TN) Human Rights and Cannabis Activist “The King Pin” Thorne Peters Continues to Fight Shelby County Charges After Latest Arrest 


    Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea

    For the act to be guilty, the mind must be guilty, for the mind to be guilty, the act must be criminal.

    April 12, 2018

    thorne

    On April 3rd, Mr. Thorne Peters was “live” in front of the Shelby County Justice Center, awaiting his latest arrest for selling small amounts of  Cannabis in baggies – prior to his sentencing for the case which he lost to a Jury of his “peers” on March 1, 2018, in Shelby County Tennessee under Judge J. Robert Carter Jr.

    Because of the nature of evil from within the System you have to realize at some point that we cannot allow them to continue legislating us to death.  Legislation promotes the prison industrial complex and every day another innocent person is sent into inhumane conditions to suffer for “imaginary” crimes, if you will.

    Every time another piece of Legislation is enacted we all lose another piece of our Freedom!  This holds true particularly in the fight against prohibition of Cannabis/Hemp (yes, they are = ONE plant), because every time a piece of “medical” legislation is passed it regulates us out of our freedom.  The easiest example of this is legislation that would prohibit personal growing.  I have written about this subject before, as it all ties in with Agenda 21 and the fight for the control of all of our food and medicine. 

    Cannabis is FOOD first.  It is an unalienable right from birth.  We cannot allow what we were given at birth to be stolen from us, literally one plant at a time.  Anyone who has ever been involved in any research about Cannabis knows the conspiracies or reasons behind it’s illegality.   The fight for our freedom must be a repeal of the prohibiting laws both on the Federal Statutes and U.N. Treaty levels.  That strategy alongside #NO MENS REA by defendants in possession of Cannabis cases of all kinds can change the Justice System as we know it today.  The bottom line is that Cannabis has to be freed for ALL not just SOME for A FEW REASONS!  If we do not push for change now and continue to allow the “legislating” of Cannabis it will not end with Cannabis – this I can promise you.  If you live long enough you will see regulation on the possession and use of fruits and vegetables and weeds, (just like “Hemp” has to be <.3 THC) !  It was started a long time ago and has progressed into what we see today.  And the regulation and control of Cannabis as a Schedule II Controlled Substance will be the launch of the Corporate Pharma driven market that we will be left with and you can forget about growing your own plants!

    Cannabis has to be removed from control first and released back to the people in it’s full form.  At that point, if Corporate Cannabis can market a good product for sale at a reasonable cost and contribute to tax revenue system, I would be glad to try it…at the same time I am growing my own plants, for my own purposes, in my own backyard, or sunroom!

    The injustice that Thorne Peters is subjecting himself to, to make a very real effort to inform the people at large about their Human Rights is to be noted and appreciated.  I think that more people should take the time to fully listen to what he is saying and not take offense to his expressiveness.  I also find it appalling that there has been no notable media coverage to speak of on his case.  I will ask you to share the information as far as you can and encourage other media outlets to cover this story.

    THE SPECTER OF THE GUN was used to take THE TRIAL OF THE MILLENNIUM next level by labeling me a CRIMINAL who committed no crime and a VIOLENT OFFENDER who committed no act of violence according to the evidence and testimony. NO MENS REA is now “A FORTIORI”. As I will have some years to spend in prison, pending a multitude of appeals, I will find fellow prisoners who also have no name of a victim on their affidavit and unleash them upon the system. “

    On the 10th of April Thorne Peters was arraigned for charges incurred on the Courthouse steps on the 3rd of April – which was supposed to be his sentencing day for the  Guilty verdict on March 1st.  That date was moved forward to the 12th of April.

    Linda Harrah, known as “Lady L”, his partner, has indicated to me that the conditions inside of this facility are inhumane – a problem all unto itself.  He is being held in the “drunk tank” where  it is very loud all the time,  with trouble frequently breaking out and little or no supervision .  He is on “lockdown” 23 hours per day leaving only one hour for personal hygiene, phone calls or whatever else he may need to take care of such as commissary – I suppose if there is a long line that day you are just sh*t  out  of luck! 

    “Lady L”  was in court for sentencing today.

    He was sentenced to 36 months 100% time and 1 yr 30% time … so 39 months. He has hurt no one and only committed acts of civil disobedience.  He has committed no crime against anyone’s “person, property nor puppy”…

    On April 24th he will be arraigned  for the two new pot charges from April 3rd.  On May 30th he will be back before Judge J Robert Carter Jr. for appeal.

    “He was magnificent on the stand today testifying to all the history of the past that he represents. Can’t wait to hear or read the transcripts.” – “Lady L”

    BE SURE TO FOLLOW “LADY L”, LINDA HARRAH, ON FACEBOOK !

    Lady L” has been by Thorne’s side since the beginning and is  striving to keep the information flowing about this very important #NOMENSREA Case,.  She is on Facebook everyday giving updates thru video.  It is very interesting to watch.  Though it is heartbreaking to see someone so  dedicated to Activism be treated so unjustly and inhumanely by our Justice System, i.e., Shelby County, Tennessee, in particular.

    WATCH & LISTEN
    as THE KINGPIN takes The Ministerz of Injustice to task
    for the ongoing CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY against him that
    officially began November 11, 2008

    THE PLANTED BUST

    Call Governor  Bill Haslam (615) 741- 2001 ask for Constituent Services or Policy. Tell them you want to have the Thorne Peters conspiracy investigated # NOMENSREA…

    Below listed are links to Facebook Video’s from “Lady L” which give updates for each day since Thorne’s arrest.

    Thurs:  April 12th – Day 10   Additional Video

    Weds:  April 11th – Day 9

    Tues:  April 10th – Day 8

    Mon:  April 9th – Day 7

    Sun:  April 8th – Day 6

    Sat:  April 7th – Day 5

    Fri:  April 6th – Day 4

    Thurs:  April 5th – Day 3

    Weds:  April 4th – Day 2

    Tues:  April 3rd – Day 1

    Image may contain: text

    Those of you facing PROHIBITION charges, who are not a target of your local Ministerz of Injustice, who have no guns to be tainted with, will follow the law to proceed PRO SE with the lawful offensive of NO MENS REA and the HUMAN RIGHTS declaration of “I AM THE LAW” in the name of THE KINGPIN Thorne Peters! Any other position is unlawful; a crime against humanity . . .

    RELATED:

    FOUND GUILTY, BY JURY, of “possession of pot – that I was not in possession of…” Thorne Peters

    Thorne Peters LIVE from Shelby County Justice Center in Memphis Tn …

    “NO MENS REA WAY MARCH UNTIL PROHIBITION ENDS”

    The FREEDOMcast of THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS!

    HERE IS EVIDENCE OF A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY & PROOF OF #NOMENSREA

    THE KINGPIN PUNKS A PIG! DETECTIVE GARY BEANS. MAYOR MARK LUTTRELL. AMY WEIRICH, BILL GIBBONS

    CHRONOLOGY OF CORRUPTION!

    This is the highlight video of Thorne Peters , THE KINGPIN, selling POT on the front steps of the Memphis TN, Shelby County Courthouse on 4-3-2018.

    PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER THAT FUNDS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED FOR EXPENSES AND LEGAL COSTS!  PLEASE DONATE!

    DANX for sharing with “THE FREEDOMfund” … I will be sentenced to 12 years in prison on April 3, 2018, with a projected release date of 10/2021, so I need your support to keep my home fires burning; I need to make phone calls to continue being heard LIVE daily on the phone to share the message of FREEDOM with those being oppressed; I need to take care of Lady L, so she is not in the dark in da hood and maybe some of our puppiez . . . I’d love to see them again in life. So, jump in and make a difference in my life as I go down fighting for our FREEDOM from PROHIBITION, even from behind the prison walls. “I AM THE LAW!” #NOMENSREA .

    OTHER INFORMATION OF NOTE:

    TO SEND LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

    Shelby County Criminal Justice Center

    Thorne Peters
    201 Poplar
    Section LL Block A
    Housing 14 Bed L
    Memphis Tn 38103

    Tennessee locks ailing, mentally ill, pregnant and juvenile prisoners in isolation to help jails save money.

    FINDINGS LETTER RE INVESTIGATION OF SHELBY COUNTY JAIL

    J. ROBERT CARTER, JR.

    Untitled

    J. Robert “Bobby” Carter – Ballotpedia

    How the U.N. is stealing our “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” to grow food and Medicine through U.N. Convention on Narcotic Drugs

    smkrider

     
  • ShereeKrider 12:04 pm on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACLU, , Human Rights Watch, , , prison industrial complex,   

    Every 25 seconds in the United States, someone is arrested for the simple act of possessing drugs for their personal use… 


    Interview: Why the US Should Decriminalize Drug Use

     

    Summary

     

    Neal Scott may die in prison. A 49-year-old Black man from New Orleans, Neal had cycled in and out of prison for drug possession over a number of years. He said he was never offered treatment for his drug dependence; instead, the criminal justice system gave him time behind bars and felony convictions—most recently, five years for possessing a small amount of cocaine and a crack pipe. When Neal was arrested in May 2015, he was homeless and could not walk without pain, struggling with a rare autoimmune disease that required routine hospitalizations. Because he could not afford his $7,500 bond, Neal remained in jail for months, where he did not receive proper medication and his health declined drastically—one day he even passed out in the courtroom. Neal eventually pled guilty because he would face a minimum of 20 years in prison if he took his drug possession case to trial and lost. He told us that he cried the day he pled, because he knew he might not survive his sentence.[1]

    ***

    Just short of her 30th birthday, Nicole Bishop spent three months in jail in Houston for heroin residue in an empty baggie and cocaine residue inside a plastic straw. Although the prosecutor could have charged misdemeanor paraphernalia, he sought felony drug possession charges instead. They would be her first felonies.

    Nicole was separated from her three young children, including her breastfeeding newborn. When the baby visited Nicole in jail, she could not hear her mother’s voice or feel her touch because there was thick glass between them. Nicole finally accepted a deal from the prosecutor: she would do seven months in prison in exchange for a guilty plea for the 0.01 grams of heroin found in the baggie, and he would dismiss the straw charge. She would return to her children later that year, but as a “felon” and “drug offender.” As a result, Nicole said she would lose her student financial aid and have to give up pursuit of a degree in business administration. She would have trouble finding a job and would not be able to have her name on the lease for the home she shared with her husband. She would no longer qualify for the food stamps she had relied on to help feed her children. As she told us, she would end up punished for the rest of her life.

    ***

    Every 25 seconds in the United States, someone is arrested for the simple act of possessing drugs for their personal use, just as Neal and Nicole were. Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime. More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year. And despite officials’ claims that drug laws are meant to curb drug sales, four times as many people are arrested for possessing drugs as are arrested for selling them.

    As a result of these arrests, on any given day at least 137,000 men and women are behind bars in the United States for drug possession, some 48,000 of them in state prisons and 89,000 in jails, most of the latter in pretrial detention. Each day, tens of thousands more are convicted, cycle through jails and prisons, and spend extended periods on probation and parole, often burdened with crippling debt from court-imposed fines and fees. Their criminal records lock them out of jobs, housing, education, welfare assistance, voting, and much more, and subject them to discrimination and stigma. The cost to them and to their families and communities, as well as to the taxpayer, is devastating. Those impacted are disproportionately communities of color and the poor.

    This report lays bare the human costs of criminalizing personal drug use and possession in the US, focusing on four states: Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and New York. Drawing from over 365 interviews with people arrested and prosecuted for their drug use, attorneys, officials, activists, and family members, and extensive new analysis of national and state data, the report shows how criminalizing drug possession has caused dramatic and unnecessary harms in these states and around the country, both for individuals and for communities that are subject to discriminatory enforcement.

    There are injustices and corresponding harms at every stage of the criminal process, harms that are all the more apparent when, as often happens, police, prosecutors, or judges respond to drug use as aggressively as the law allows. This report covers each stage of that process, beginning with searches, seizures, and the ways that drug possession arrests shape interactions with and perceptions of the police—including for the family members and friends of individuals who are arrested. We examine the aggressive tactics of many prosecutors, including charging people with felonies for tiny, sometimes even “trace” amounts of drugs, and detail how pretrial detention and long sentences combine to coerce the overwhelming majority of drug possession defendants to plead guilty, including, in some cases, individuals who later prove to be innocent.

    The report also shows how probation and criminal justice debt often hang over people’s heads long after their conviction, sometimes making it impossible for them to move on or make ends meet. Finally, through many stories, we recount how harmful the long-term consequences of incarceration and a criminal record that follow a conviction for drug possession can be—separating parents from young children and excluding individuals and sometimes families from welfare assistance, public housing, voting, employment opportunities, and much more.

    Families, friends, and neighbors understandably want government to take actions to prevent the potential harms of drug use and drug dependence. Yet the current model of criminalization does little to help people whose drug use has become problematic. Treatment for those who need and want it is often unavailable, and criminalization tends to drive people who use drugs underground, making it less likely that they will access care and more likely that they will engage in unsafe practices that make them vulnerable to disease and overdose.

    While governments have a legitimate interest in preventing problematic drug use, the criminal law is not the solution. Criminalizing drug use simply has not worked as a matter of practice. Rates of drug use fluctuate, but they have not declined significantly since the “war on drugs” was declared more than four decades ago. The criminalization of drug use and possession is also inherently problematic because it represents a restriction on individual rights that is neither necessary nor proportionate to the goals it seeks to accomplish. It punishes an activity that does not directly harm others.

    Instead, governments should expand public education programs that accurately describe the risks and potential harms of drug use, including the potential to cause drug dependence, and should increase access to voluntary, affordable, and evidence-based treatment for drug dependence and other medical and social services outside the court and prison system.

    After decades of “tough on crime” policies, there is growing recognition in the US that governments need to undertake meaningful criminal justice reform and that the “war on drugs” has failed. This report shows that although taking on parts of the problem—such as police abuse, long sentences, and marijuana reclassification—is critical, it is not enough: Criminalization is simply the wrong response to drug use and needs to be rethought altogether.

    Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union call on all states and the federal government to decriminalize the use and possession for personal use of all drugs and to focus instead on prevention and harm reduction. Until decriminalization has been achieved, we urge officials to take strong measures to minimize and mitigate the harmful consequences of existing laws and policies. The costs of the status quo, as this report shows, are too great to bear.

     

    CONTINUE READING

     

    LINK TO PDF VERSION OF REPORT (205 PAGES)

     
  • ShereeKrider 6:12 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Drug Addiction, Drug Bust, , , prison, prison industrial complex   

    Why are more Americans in jail for marijuana use than violent crime? 


    More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….On any given day in the US, at least 137,000 Americans are in prison on drug possession, not sales, charges, says a new report that finds that the “tough on drugs” policies may be disproportionately affecting low-income, black Americans.

    By Ellen Powell, Staff October 12, 2016

    More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….

    The report, released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, points out that violent crime arrests in the US have dropped 36 percent in the past two decades. Meanwhile, arrests for drug possession – including marijuana and other illicit drugs – are up 13 percent. Those arrests tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods with high crime rates, where police officers are on the lookout for any offense. As a result, lower-income, black Americans are most likely to be arrested for possessing even trace amounts of illicit drugs. (Black Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be arrested on drug-related charges, according to federal data, even though they use drugs at the same rate as white Americans.) Those who can’t afford to post bail spend substantial amounts of time in jail, even before their case goes to trial.

    Tougher sentencing was intended to get chronic repeat offenders off the street, reduce drug use, and protect public health. But the “tough on drugs” policy prevalent since the 1980s isn’t working, the report argues. Criminalizing drug possession is derailing individuals’ lives and hurting the families who depend on them, while doing little to prevent drug use and abuse.

    “While families, friends, and neighbors understandably want government to take action to prevent the potential harm caused by drug use, criminalization is not the answer,” Tess Borden, the study’s author, said in a Human Rights Watch press release. “Locking people up for using drugs causes tremendous harm, while doing nothing to help those who need and want treatment.”

    csmarchives/2010/10/1013-wires-marijuana2.jpg

    Test your knowledgeHow much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz

    The report comes at a time when the Obama administration and a bipartisan effort in Congress has already taken steps at judicial reform. For example, the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act erased a 5-year-minimum sentence for simple crack possession. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, “much of the Obama administration’s work has been done courthouse by courthouse. For one, the Department of Justice has guided prosecutors to curb the use of mandatory minimums for drug crimes. But the president has also made broader strokes.” 

    Since 2014, the Obama administration expanded the criteria for clemency-seekers, leading to hundreds of who were given long-term sentences for drug charges to be released. 

    But the ALCU report says that in some states, such as Texas, a “habitual offender” law means prosecutors still can push for longer sentences, including life sentences, for those with two prior convictions. The actual amount of the drug that individuals possess doesn’t matter.

    And what most concerns many low-income Americans is the impact on families. While the accused are in jail, even before trial, they’re not earning a wage, meaning that in some homes the water and lights could be cut off. A woman in Louisiana with a prison record told the rights groups that because of her probation, her family could not get food stamps for a year. That means her children will be eating whatever she can find in the dumpster, she explained. It can also be hard for those arrested to find a job when they get out. 

    “When you’re a low-income person of color using drugs, you’re criminalized…. When we’re locked up, we’re not only locked in but also locked out. Locked out of housing…. Locked out of employment and other services,” said one New York City man who had been repeatedly arrested for drug charges over the past 30 years.

    Criminalizing drugs, the report says, can actually increase the risks associated with drug use. Driving traffic underground “discourages access to emergency medicine, overdose prevention services, and risk-reducing practices such as syringe exchanges.”

    The report calls for an increase in rehabilitation programs and a move to treat drug use as a public health issue, rather than lumping it in with violent crime. That’s an approach the Obama administration is on-board with, Mario Moreno, spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, suggested. “We cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem,” he told CBS.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:12 pm on February 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commutation, , Federal Judge, mandatory minimum sentencing, prison industrial complex, Utah, Weldon Angelos   

    Ex-judge urges Obama to commute harsh sentence he was forced to give 


    https://i2.wp.com/www.thecannabist.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mandatory-sentence-Weldon-Angelos-federal-judge-paul-cassell-800x496.jpg

    A former federal judge in Utah is asking President Barack Obama to commute the sentence for Weldon Angelos, a music producer who was jailed in 2004. Pictured: In this Nov. 15, 2005 file photo, members of Safer Choice stand in protest at a Denver federal courthouse, where the court was hearing an appeal of Angelos’ conviction. (Ed Andrieski, Associated Press file)

     

    Ex-judge urges Obama to commute harsh sentence he was forced to give

    Weldon Angelos prison sentence: A former federal judge says the 55-year drug sentence he had to hand down is ‘unjust, cruel and irrational’ for a nonviolent offender who was subject to a lengthy prison term for bringing a gun to marijuana deals

    Published: Feb 10, 2016, 5:20 pm Comments (6)

    By Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press

    SALT LAKE CITY — A former federal judge who gave a Utah music producer 55 years in prison for bringing a gun to marijuana deals asked the president to commute the sentence Tuesday, the latest appeal in a case held up as an example of problems with mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

    Paul Cassell, now a law professor, said in a clemency petition letter that he was deeply troubled by the lengthy sentence he was forced to hand down in 2004 to Weldon Angelos, then a 24-year-old father of three.

    The sentence he called “unjust, cruel, and even irrational” was the main reason Cassell stepped down from the bench after five years. Angelos got a longer prison term than people convicted of crimes such as kidnapping, rape and second-degree murder, Cassell said.

    “When the sentence for actual violence inflicted on a victim is dwarfed by a sentence for carrying guns to several drug deals, the implicit message to victims is that their pain and suffering counts for less than some abstract ‘war on drugs,’” the former judge wrote.

    Angelos likely would not face such a harsh sentence today, Cassell said. President Barack Obama has pushed for the reduction or outright elimination of severe mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders. The White House did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

    Angelos founded Extravagant Records in Utah, producing hip-hop and rap music. He had no criminal record before he was convicted of selling $350 worth of marijuana to a police informant three times.

    Prosecutors said he was a gang member who carried a gun during two of those deals, though he was not accused of using or showing a weapon. Angelos denied being in a gang and having a firearm, but police found several guns while searching his apartment.

    He was convicted in federal court of 16 counts of drug trafficking, weapons possession and money laundering.

    The penalty for possessing firearms during a drug transaction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for the first offense and 25 years for each subsequent deal. The federal system does not have parole.

    It’s not the first time the president has been urged to commute Angelos’ sentence. In 2013, more than 100 high-profile figures petitioned the White House, including an ex-FBI director, prosecutors and celebrities.

    Politicians such as Republican Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Democratic Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy also have said the punishment didn’t fit the crime. The conservative billionaire Koch brothers have also taken notice of the case in their push for sentencing reform.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah declined to comment on the case. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lund said in 2004: “This sends the message that people who engage in armed drug dealing are going to face very serious consequences.”

    The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the sentence, and the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Angelos’ petition for a hearing.

    Angelos, now 36, has served more than 12 years in prison, and a presidential commutation is his only option.

    His sister, Lisa Angelos, said the clemency letter is a “huge” step that she hopes is a turning point. Weldon Angelos has spent his time in a prison in California earning a business degree, working in the institution’s dental lab and tutoring others, she said.

    The expense of traveling there makes it hard for his family to visit, and he recently saw his sons, now 17 and 19, for the first time in years, his sister said.

    “He’s missing out on basically their entire lives,” Lisa Angelos said.

    CONTINUE READING…

    RELATED STORY: 

    Jeff Mizanskey, sentenced to life for pot, freed from Missouri prison

     
  • ShereeKrider 4:10 pm on April 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: child prisoners, , , , , prison industrial complex, ,   

    We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die 


    Juwan being interrogated

    We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.

    What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

    Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

    Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.

    Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

    The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.

    But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.

    Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.

    It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.

    PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN PETITION!

     
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