10th Circuit Affirms Angelos' 55 Year Sentence
The conservative judge who imposed the mandatory sentence thought it was excessive. Twenty-nine former judges and prosecutors agreed, joining a brief that asked the Tenth Circuit to reverse the sentence. Yesterday the court ruled:
A federal appeals court has upheld a 55-year prison term imposed on a Utah man with no criminal record who was convicted in 2003 of selling several hundred dollars worth of marijuana on three occasions.
Half a century for selling a few hundred dollars worth of weed, just because he had a gun hidden on his person? Weldon Angelos is the poster casualty of the failed war on drugs. (TalkLeft background on his case is here and here.)
The Tenth Circuit articulated many reasons for believing Angelosâ lengthy sentence reflected the âwill of Congress,â including facts that the government never had to prove to a jury. As noted by sentencing expert Douglas Berman:
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