August 9th, 2020
A U.S. military veteran who was sentenced to life in prison over less than $30 of marijuana is going to be released from prison, his lawyer said.
Derek Harris was arrested in Louisiana back in 2008 for selling undercover officer 0.69 grams of cannabis.
While Harris was initially convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, in 2012 he was resentenced to life in prison under the state’s draconian Habitual Offender Law, which grants judges the freedom to impose far harsher sentences on defendants with prior criminal charges.
However, prosecutors in Vermilion Parish have now agreed to release Harris from prison after he served nine years in prison, after he was granted a new hearing by the Louisiana Supreme Court last month.
The court agreed with arguments presented by Harris’ legal counsel that he had“ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing on post-conviction review.”
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