Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cassell on Angelos, Justice and the President

Paul G. Cassell
Paul G. Cassell has written a letter to the President of the United States "as the [former] judge who sentenced Weldon Angelos to a 55-year mandatory minimum prison term for non-violent drug offenses." Over a decade ago, when he was "forced" to "impose" the sentence, Cassell called on the President to "commute Mr. Angelos’ sentence to something that is more in accord with just and rational punishment.”

Cassell says it was "one of the most troubling" cases that he had "ever faced," in his five years as a federal judge. In his mind:
... to sentence Mr. Angelos to prison for the rest of his life is unjust, cruel, and even irrational ... The 55–year sentence substantially exceeds what the jury recommended to the court. It is also far in excess of the sentence imposed for such serious crimes as aircraft hijacking, second degree murder, espionage, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and rape. It exceeds what recidivist criminals will likely serve under the federal “three strikes” provision. 
Cassell explains his position so much better than any summary could. Please read his powerful letter, in its entirety here.

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