Here is a real tear jerker. Daniel Patrick Moynihan the last honest democrat said it best. The article misleads, misstates and outright lies about Harris’s situation. Remove the bullshit and what remains is a crook who is where he needs to be.
Oh, the injustice! Life in prison for selling marijuana. Yeah, no. Harris sold marijuana to the Po-Po. That was his ante into the court system. Not his first rodeo.
Harris’ nightmare began back in 2008 when an undercover cop knocked on his door and asked to buy some weed. Harris had just .69 grams — barely enough to roll two joints — and sold it for $30.
The whole idea behind enacting laws is to inform citizens what conduct is prohibited, like selling marijuana. The authors seem to think quantity matters. They are right and wrong.
I’ll use Texas as an example, since that is what I’m familiar with. The level of felony is determined by the weight of the substance sold. The sentence increases as the price and the weight increases. Delivery of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and such, has slot limits, under 1 gram, 1 to 4 grams and so on. As far as establishing the offense, there is no advantage to an undercover officer to spend the money to buy 4 grams when 1 will do. Money for buying dope goes just so far.
Just for the hell of it let’s put this argument into a slightly different context and see if, “it’s a matter of degree still holds.” Imagine a rapist asserting that since he only got the “head” in, he ought to get a break.
The article admits that Harris had prior convictions.
Harris’ prior convictions dated back to a 1991 conviction for dealing cocaine, according to court filings. He was subsequently convicted of simple robbery in 1992 and 1993, simple burglary in 1997 and theft under $500 in 2005, said Cormac Boyle, an attorney with the Promise of Justice Initiative who argued Harris’ case Monday.
Harris sold drugs and stole small items. However, Harris never hurt anyone and all of his crimes were misdemeanors.
The fact is, according to Louisiana statutes, Harris has been convicted of at least four felonies, not misdemeanors. Here are the statutes.
§62. Simple burglary
A. Simple burglary is the unauthorized entering of any dwelling, vehicle, watercraft, or other structure, movable or immovable, or any cemetery, with the intent to commit a felony or any theft therein, other than as set forth in R.S. 14:60.
B. Whoever commits the crime of simple burglary shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than twelve years, or both.
Amended by Acts 1972, No. 649, §1; Acts 1977, No. 133, §1; Acts 1980, No. 708, §1; Acts 2001, No. 241, §1.
§65. Simple robbery
A. Simple robbery is the taking of anything of value belonging to another from the person of another or that is in the immediate control of another, by use of force or intimidation, but not armed with a dangerous weapon.
B. Whoever commits the crime of simple robbery shall be fined not more than three thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than seven years, or both.
Acts 1983, No. 70, §1.
§§40:961, et seq. Sale, Cocaine
5-30 yrs. hard labor and/or up to $50,000; Sale to minors by persons over 25: life imprisonment; Sale to minors by those at least 3 yrs. his junior: double penalties
Two drug sale convictions, two robbery convictions, one burglary conviction and one theft conviction all add up to a defendant that refuses to abide by societies rules. The District Attorney recognized this fact and tried Harris as a “Habitual Criminal.” This is a separate charge. Harris is doing life because in con parlance, “he caught the bitch.” Catching the bitch is kinda like receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Oscars.
With a lifetime achievement Oscar nothing the winner ever did was good enough to merit an Oscar. However, his whole body of work, in and of itself, deserved recognition. Consider the lifetime achievement Oscar and the “bitch” as one and the same type of award.
This guy knew what his status was when he made the deal with the undercover cop. He knew that one more screw up could put him in prison for life. It didn’t matter. What is the price of freedom? In this case it was $30. He has only himself to blame.