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Former Federal Judge Regrets 55-Year Marijuana Sentence

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posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 06:26 PM
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I would be curious what or which federal law required him as a judge to give someone 55 years for a joint? Is Utah a state that the governor can pardon someone? If so federal judges have lots of pull in that area. Maybe he's lighting up himself in retirement and now is being convicted or his immoral sentencing. How many lives has this judge ruined by giving out such stiff sentencing’s for this sort of nonviolent victimless social moral law?
a reply to: onequestion




posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

You would think common sense would take over these public officials and they would let some of these people go who haven't committed a brutal crime.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 06:36 PM
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Mandatory minimums where introduced here in a giant unreadable bill after the last election..so far some judges have simply refused to apply them.
The judge in the OP..well what can you say..he should of quit if it truly bothered him.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:14 PM
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Well, he must certainly have money from his term so how about reaching out to the family with some financial reparations if he can't get the guy out from the cells?

It won't fix it but it will show true remorse because truly the only way to hurt the powerful is through their pockets.

Peace



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:15 PM
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dbl
edit on 18-2-2015 by jude11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 01:10 AM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: Krazysh0t

He doesn't have authority but he has influence. i don't care about his precious career either.

Why did he become a judge other than to impose moral judgement?


Nope morals have nothing to do with legality or illegality.....
Further he was obliged to issue the sentence.....
I am sorry he hadn't the guts to disqualify himself from passing it.....
The system is made up of wankers just like him....it could not survive a day without such dupes.....



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 06:50 AM
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a reply to: KeliOnyx

That's a good point. I didn't think of that.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 08:32 AM
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"The system forced me to do it.”

I was just following orders.

see the similarity there?
People like this judge are too easily manipulated to be allowed to hold a position of authority over anyone.
In fact I would say that it`s dangerous to allow people like him to hold a position of authority.
The judge is using the Nuremberg defense to try to ease his conscience because he knows what he did was wrong and he alone bares responsibility for his decision.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 09:29 AM
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a reply to: Tardacus

With mandatory sentencing laws, it would be illegal for him to do otherwise, a lot of judges face this, and many straight out say they disagree with the ruling. What, would you have him, and every other judge assigned to the case just quit their jobs in rapid succession? In many of these cases the blame falls much more on the prosecutor than the judge. Everyone's out to hang this judge, but no one cares about the prosecution pushing for the maximum sentence.

That said, if EVERY judge did do that, it might promote a drastic change and create waves, but chances are it would just result in him out of a job as the next judge chooses a paycheck and his family over some stranger.

The problem is the laws, not the judges who's job is to uphold the laws. Our legal system sucks, and our sentencing laws are atrocious.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: Puppylove

Ain't that the truth! Federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws are ridiculous, and need to be removed from the books. Then the states need to follow the lead. Then all persons incarcerated under these laws need to be re-evaluated, and only those without violent crimes sentenced under the mandatory minimums should be released.

I guarantee you this would drive the prison population way down, and put those in need of treatment rather than prison time, on the road to recovery. I'm not saying marijuana should be illegal, but those who say it is a "gateway drug", would be happy believing they can make a difference in someones life.

To those who say the judge could have ignored the law, and sentenced this man to less time, no he couldn't. This was a federal judge, a federal prosecutor, and federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. If the judge had done anything other than what the law says, the prosecutor could have easily challenged the ruling and have it overturned. The judge could then face repercussions that could have ended his career.

I will assume those who say he should have refused to sentence according to current law, quit his job, or any of the other suggestions, would do the same if their job required them to do something they did not agree with. Federal judges are appointed by the POTUS, and that position is not one to walk away from because you don't agree with a law. Are you willing to walk away from your job?

The LAW is what is wrong, not the judge. Puppylove hit the nail on the head. From the original source:


Federal authorities caught wind of Angelos’s dealings and set up three stings, using a criminal informant to buy about $1,000 worth of marijuana from him. But one critical detail made this case extraordinary -- during the deals, the criminal informant claimed Angelos had a gun in his possession.


This amount is not a single joint. The bad part is they took the word of a criminal informant. Whether he had a gun or not, they used this to enhance the charges, and screwed up this kids life.
Wrong...YES.
Legal...yes.

Get out and change the law, not blame the Judge.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: MisterSpock
Justify it whatever way you want, sir, but you were "forced" to do nothing.


At that time, he was.

Having been found guilty, the federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines kick in, and there's no saying no or we'll do less or whatever, at least not until 2005 or so, but this happened before then.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: Tardacus
The judge is using the Nuremberg defense to try to ease his conscience because he knows what he did was wrong and he alone bares responsibility for his decision.


At that time, he would not have been able to assign a lesser sentence, no matter what he might want.

It wouldn't have been in his power to do so.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:09 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Still not an excuse.

Everyone involved in the process would have been morally justified to not act on the orders of a piece of paper.

Everyone could have said, this is unjustified punishment and i will not put this man behind bars. Order following is the bane of existence. Listen to Mark Passio if you agree with this perspective.

They even teach you in the military that if a direct order is morally unjustifiable it is your duty to not follow that order.
edit on 2/19/2015 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:10 AM
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originally posted by: guitarplayer
I would be curious what or which federal law required him as a judge to give someone 55 years for a joint?


That would be the Federal Minimum Mandatory Sentencing Statutes.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:14 AM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: Bedlam

Still not an excuse.


Sure it is. It's the law. You don't like it, get it changed. But the guy can't just say, no man, you get probation - it would have been unlawful. He'd have been removed, impeached and dismissed, and the next guy would have done it.



They even teach you in the military that if a direct order is morally unjustifiable it is your duty to not follow that order.


No, they teach you not to follow unlawful orders. Because "morally unjustifiable" will vary for everyone.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:24 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: MisterSpock
Justify it whatever way you want, sir, but you were "forced" to do nothing.


At that time, he was.

Having been found guilty, the federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines kick in, and there's no saying no or we'll do less or whatever, at least not until 2005 or so, but this happened before then.


My point was that if it was such a morally reprehensible thing to him, he could have just stood up and walked out. Obviously this would have ended his career and no doubt a hefty flow of money he was accustomed to.

Point being, he isn't "forced" to do anything. He could have simply stood up, stated his disagreement with such harsh penalties and said that he would not, personally, be a part of it.

But then again, that takes an extremely strong character.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam
Judges here have refused to apply the mandatory minimums citing our charter rights. None have been removed..things are different in the U.S. so im not sure the repurcussions for a U.S. judge.
Yes the law is wrong, anyone involved is part of it. I still think if he thought it was so wrong he should of recused himself from the case but it would just be another judge. I liken it to the old excuse the Nazi's used about only following orders..at what point are the orders reprehensible enough to take a stand.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 03:06 PM
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a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

100 lashes is usually a death sentence.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: QuietSpeech

As opposed to a "Life" sentence...

Which disregards and completely changes the definition of Life.




Perspective again... This was a Death Sentence.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: Bedlam

Still not an excuse.


Sure it is. It's the law. You don't like it, get it changed. But the guy can't just say, no man, you get probation - it would have been unlawful. He'd have been removed, impeached and dismissed, and the next guy would have done it.




Doubtful, plus he could has told the advisers in his court to advise minor drug offenders to request trial by Jury and encourage the Jury to Nulify the case.

Simple
AS
THAT

The Drug war

edit on 20-2-2015 by vind21 because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-2-2015 by vind21 because: (no reason given)



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