18 years in prison

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May 12th, 2017 at 4:02:34 PM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 52
Posts: 833
The question: is 18 years a fair punishment for Gary Howard?

Louisiana resident Gary Howard has appealed his sentencing and earlier this month the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected his appeal. So the sentence stands. His crime? Possession of 18 grams of marijuana (that's slightly more than 1/2 ounce). His punishment? He'll be spending the next 18 years in prison.

To put that in perspective, in 2006 when country music singer Willie Nelson was busted for possession (also in Louisiana!) of 1.5 pounds of marijuana, he spent a few hours in custody then paid a $1,024 fine.

Nelson had 680 grams, whereas Howard only had 18 grams. So why is Howard's punishment so harsh? He's a repeat offender, and his last conviction was for illegal possession of a firearm.

Incidentally, the chief justice of the Supreme Court noted that the state will pay about $23,000 per year to keep him locked up. So over the course of the 18 years, the taxpayers will spend $400,000 to make sure this guy isn't wandering the streets with his 1/2 ounce of pot.
May 12th, 2017 at 4:15:09 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 44
Posts: 5057
That is unconstitutional for sure. Cruel and unusual. How can this happen?
May 12th, 2017 at 4:21:31 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10831
Quote: FrGamble
That is unconstitutional for sure. Cruel and unusual. How can this happen?


Where have you been living the past 30 years?

Draconian sentences for even minor drug "crimes" are a hallmark of the war on drugs.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 12th, 2017 at 4:33:34 PM permalink
SOOPOO
Member since: Feb 19, 2014
Threads: 5
Posts: 218
Quote: reno
So why is Howard's punishment so harsh? He's a repeat offender, and his last conviction was for illegal possession of a firearm.


How long did he spend in jail for that offense? I think that info and what his other offense was that makes him a 3 time loser is needed before you can determine if society is better off with him behind bars.
May 12th, 2017 at 4:36:40 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 107
Posts: 11114
As usual, the meat of the story was left
out to show only the drug part. He's
a 3 time loser, buh bye..
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
May 12th, 2017 at 5:14:41 PM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 52
Posts: 833
Quote: Evenbob
As usual, the meat of the story was left
out to show only the drug part. He's
a 3 time loser, buh bye..


Ok, 3 strikes and you're out. But what if the 3rd strike is a negligible, innocuous "crime"? Would it be worth spending $400,000 if he jaywalked? If he ran a red light? No? So why is it worth spending $400,000 for possession of 1/2 ounce of a substance that's legal in 5 other states?
May 12th, 2017 at 5:47:37 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 48
Posts: 4571
Third strikers should not object... they had their chances. They didn't change their ways.
Some third strikers or people who even erroniously thought they would be third strikers have 'held court in the street' rather than be arrested and processed as a third striker. Its the price you pay for having to draw a line somewhere.

As to cost of incarceration... Yeah, all cells are far more expensive than a dormitory room at Harvard. We hire cops, we hire correction officers... we don't hire many college instructors.

Been that way for a long time.
May 12th, 2017 at 5:50:55 PM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 52
Posts: 833
Quote: Fleastiff
Third strikers should not object... they had their chances. They didn't change their ways.


Then 18 years is too lenient. Give 'em 50 to 75 years. Even if it costs $1 million, it's worth it to keep the 1/2 ounce off our streets.
May 12th, 2017 at 8:17:52 PM permalink
zippyboy
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 437
I didn't read the article, but if he's three strikes, then he's a dumbass loser who didn't learn the first two times. Means he probably committed 100s of crimes, but only got caught thrice. Maybe the third strike is a minimal crime, but he's an idiot. Why should I care?
May 12th, 2017 at 9:08:16 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 48
Posts: 4571
Quote: reno
. Even if it costs $1 million, it's worth it to keep the 1/2 ounce off our streets.
Its not the crime, its the criminal.
Sure its a low level non-violent crime, but how many strikes do we give him? I'd rather his cell go to a more serious crime involving violence but that is not how the system works. We have to keep people from a string of minor offenses too.
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