LIFE FOR POT: Why Relief Is Needed For Incarcerated Cannabis Offenders

LIFE FOR POT: Why Relief Is Needed For Incarcerated Cannabis Offenders

John Knock, now 72 years old, has been in custody and already served 24 years towards his interminable bit of two life sentences plus twenty years for his first offense and involvement in a non-violent marijuana distribution conspiracy.  Those draconian sentences were handed down in the year 2000 by the District Court of the Northern District of Florida. Since those harsh sentences were handed down, 33 states have legalized the sale of cannabis in some form and 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it’s adult-use. In a recent motion filed by Empire State NORML Executive Director and NLC member, David C. Holland, Esq., relief for Knock is being sought from the federal sentencing District Court under the First Step Act. You can find the materials here: http://www.hollandlitigation.com/resources/ This motion was filed after the Warden’s untimely rejection of John’s request for compassionate release based on his age, deteriorating health, and changes in the enforcement of the federal Controlled Substances Act and modern sentencing trends. Holland argues that Knock’s extreme sentences were the result of the “trial penalty” or sentencing enhancement for having forced the Government to go to trial to prove its jurisdiction over the case and the quality of the co-conspirator/cooperating witness evidence against him. Others charged in the same conspiracy, who pled guilty rather than proceed to trial, were released with sentences as low as 3 years. Knock’s motion argues that the sentences were driven by a vindictive government and the inflexibility of the mandatory federal…

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Source : norml
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