Gun Nutty Sentencing Laws
Our federal sentencing laws are ridiculously gun-o-phobic. If you possess a gun during a drug crime, even if you never used it, intended to use it or even brandished it, there is a mandatory penalty of five years tacked onto whatever sentence you get for the drug crime for the first offense, and 25 years for subsequent offenses. In the case of 25 year old rap record producer Weldon Angelos, who sold marijuana on three occasions and twice had a gun on him that he never used or even flashed, and then had some guns in his home, the mandatory minimum penalty is 55 years in federal prison. The top end of his sentencing range is 63 years. Federal sentences have no parole. You do 85% of the time.
Mr. Angelos carried a Glock pistol in an ankle holster when he sold marijuana on two occasions, though he did not brandish or use it. More guns were found in a briefcase and a safe at his home. ....[the judge] is required to add five years for the gun in the first deal and 25 years each for the second deal and the guns found at his home.
"It would appear effectively to be a life sentence," the judge, Paul G. Cassell of Federal District Court there, wrote in a request to the prosecution and the defense for advice about whether he has any choice but to send the man to prison forever.
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