February 01, 2006

Mandatory Minimum Sentence, "Unbiblical"?

Pat Nolan President, Justice Fellowship (a wing of sorts of Chuck Colon’s Prison Fellowship) has written a piece called “Mandatory Minimums: Unjust and Unbiblical” where he discusses the injustice of some US mandatory sentencing laws.

Weldon Angelos, a 28 year old music executive and father of two young children was convicted of selling small amounts of marijuana three times for a few hundred dollars each time. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison.

Angelos will serve what is essentially a life sentence for selling a small amount of pot.

This sentence is far longer than if he had been convicted of second degree murder, hijacking, kidnapping, rape or aggravated assault.

In the same courtroom on the same day, another defendant was convicted of bludgeoning an elderly woman to death with a log. He was sentenced to 25 years.

How did a relatively minor crime merit a sentence more than twice that of a vicious crime? Federal mandatory minimum sentences impose long prison terms for a small number of crimes, mostly drug offenses. The killing of the elderly woman was not covered by a mandatory sentence.

I think he makes some great points.


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