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US Supreme Court mulls taking case of man given life for pot

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4/5,
  1. aemetha
    The US Supreme Court was expected to consider on Friday whether to accept the case of an elderly disabled veteran sentenced to life in prison after growing marijuana that he used to relieve chronic pain.

    Under guidelines in Alabama for habitual felony offenders, Lee Brooker was given a life sentence without possibility of parole, the most severe punishment in the southern state short of the death penalty.

    Brooker, born in 1939 and who according to US news reports is 75 years old, was convicted more than 20 years ago for armed robbery in Florida and served 10 years in prison.


    The US Supreme Court was expected to consider on April 15, 2016 whether to accept the case of an elderly disabled veteran sentenced to life in prison after growing marijuana that he used to relieve chronic pain ©Karen Bleier (AFP/File)

    In 2011, police investigating stolen bicycles stumbled onto three dozen marijuana plants behind the home in Dothan, Alabama that Brooker shared with his son.

    Although Brooker said the marijuana was for his personal medicinal use, state law dictates that convicted felons in possession of more than 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) of marijuana receive life imprisonment without parole, regardless of whether there was intent to sell or distribute.

    The marijuana collected at Brooker's home weighed 2.8 pounds, when including unusable parts of the plant such as the stems.

    Brooker has appealed his sentence to the high court, citing the Eighth Amendment that bans "cruel and unusual punishment."

    The Supreme Court is expected to announce in the coming days whether it will add Brooker's case to its calendar.

    AFP
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/af...urt-mulls-taking-case-man-given-life-pot.html

Comments

  1. Alfa
    Life in prison for the personal use of medical marijuana while half the country has legalized this? That's frankly beyond ridiculous.

    Is there a chance that the supreme court will uphold this sentence?
  2. devilgoose
    The supreme court is currently short a member since one died a while back, and the process for replacing him has gone into political deadlock. So with eight members, four liberal and four conservative, there's a chance that it could end up a tie, 4-4. There's little chance it could be upheld, 5-3. There's a small chance one of the conservative justices could favor release.

    It's quite possible the court will simply decline to hear the case.

    The executive branch has been pardoning nonviolent drug offenders, so if it doesn't get resolved I think it's pretty likely Obama will swoop in and pardon him.
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