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August 2005
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Over 8 years for less than 2 ounces

Via TalkLeft comes Reefer Madness in the 8th Circuit by Doug Berman.

The defendant in Chauncey, as a result of a criminal history leading to his classification as a career offender, received a sentence of 100 months after being convicted of possessing with intent to distribute less than two ounces of marijuana. According to Judge Lay’s dissent, “Chauncey’s undisputed purpose was to help [his friend] obtain marijuana to alleviate the painful effects of her multiple sclerosis.”

Excellent comment on this by Aaron over at Sentening Law and Policy:

When Robert Lee Chauncey was arrested, he didn’t resist, he cooperated with the police and told the truth. Unfortunately it seems that his honesty and forthright behavior had no bearing on his sentencing whatsoever. In fact it seems to have worked against him and help consolidate the the prosecution’s case under the letter of the law.

Do we really want to see individuals who are apprehended with a few ounces of marijuana shooting it out with the police because they don’t want to spend the next decade in prison. That will be the likely consequence of these types of decisions.

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