13 Years In Prison For Two Marijuana Joints In Louisiana?

Prensa 420 - www.flickr.com/photos/prensa420/ - Flickr Creative Commons

 

by Anthony Papa

on December 17, 2014

As a former prisoner who served 12 years of a 15-to-life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime in New York, I know all too well the draconian nature of the War on Drugs.

I was lucky enough to be granted executive clemency in 1997. Since my release I have continued to advocate for prisoners who are stuck in prison, sentenced to tremendous amounts of time for small amounts of drugs.

This year, one case in particular stands out and cries for justice — the case of Bernard Noble who was sentenced to 13.3 years of hard time for the possession of two marijuana cigarettes.

Earlier this year the Drug Policy Alliance tried to help by filing a friend of the court brief in the Louisiana Supreme Court, calling for judicial relief for Bernard Noble.

After Noble’s appeal was denied, many are calling on Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal to grant Noble executive clemency.

Bernard’s sentence is a prime example of the draconian nature of the marijuana laws in many states across the country. In stark contrast to Louisiana, many states have decriminalized possession of marijuana for personal use, with the offense being punishable by a fine and with no threat of jail time.

Also, four states and the District of Columbia have outright legalized, taxed and regulated the cultivation, sale, possession and use of marijuana by and for adults.

A range of important people are calling for justice for Bernard Noble.

One of them is retired Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Calvin Johnson who said, “[t]he mere fact our law is structured such that a defendant can be sentenced to 13.3 years in jail for possession of two marijuana cigarettes speaks volumes about our antiquated sentencing structure. It is imperative that we change the sentencing structure.”

Noble’s original sentencing judge considered the 13 and a third-year sentence egregious and imposed a sentence of five years of hard labor. But the Orleans Parish District Attorney wasn’t satisfied with this punishment and appealed the sentence.

Ultimately, the district attorney sought and obtained a prison term of close to triple the sentence imposed by the original sentencing judge.

Noble has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of drugs for personal use. Because of two prior low-level, nonviolent drug offenses, Noble fell within Louisiana’s Habitual Offender Statute, which brings his sentence for his marijuana possession offense to thirteen and one-third years and has deprived him of the opportunity for earlier release on parole.

To be sentenced under unjust laws to a tremendous amount of time is unconscionable. I know because it happened to me. This holiday season, Bernard Nobel’s family will be praying that Governor Jindal will show some compassion and grant Bernard executive clemency so he can be reunited with his family. It is surely the right thing to do.

 

Anthony Papa is author of the book 15 To Life: How I Painted My Way To Freedom and manager of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance. Follow him on Twitter, @AnthonyPapa

there are 810 Comments

https://www.rankked.com

Title

[…]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nonetheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one discover about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]

0
pet tags

Title

[…]although sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be essentially really worth a go by way of, so possess a look[…]

0
AWS Cloud Practitioner

Title

[…]usually posts some really fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

0
if the love doesn't feel like 90s r&b shirt

Title

[…]The details talked about within the report are a few of the very best offered […]

0
Scam Broker

Title

[…]The facts talked about within the article are several of the most beneficial readily available […]

0
Outlook sign up and sign in

Title

[…]please take a look at the web pages we adhere to, which includes this a single, because it represents our picks through the web[…]

0
mynikevisit na com survey free coupon

Title

[…]although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they may be basically really worth a go through, so have a look[…]

0
Pakaloa

Title

[…]Here are some of the web pages we recommend for our visitors[…]

0
motivation poster

Title

[…]Every when in a whilst we select blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the most current websites that we select […]

0
21 Day Flat Belly Fix

Title

[…]usually posts some pretty fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

0