TX: Life for 17 Year Old Who Smoked Pot on Probation
It's not just the absurdity of Texas judge Keith Dean's sentencing a teen to life in prison for smoking pot once while on probation for a $2.00 stickup, it's also the disparity.
First, the story of the teen:
First came the poor man, barely 17 years old - too young to buy beer or vote, but an adult under the Texas penal code. He took part in a $2 stickup in which no one got hurt. He pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was put on 10 years of probation. He broke the rules once, by smoking marijuana. A Dallas judge responded in the harshest possible way: He replaced the original sentence with a life term in prison.
There Tyrone Brown sits today, 16 years later, tattooed and angry and pondering self-destruction. "I've tried suicide a few times," he writes. "What am I to make of a life filled with failure, including failing to end my life?"
Now the story of the businessman on probation for murder who smoked crack and failed numerous drug tests. The same judge let him stay on probation.
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