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Elderly Man Sentenced To Death Over Marijuana Possession

US prisoner sentenced to death over marijuana possession

A 75-year-old disabled veteran has been sentenced to death due to a mandatory sentence involving marijuana possession. 

Lee Carroll Brooker grew marijuana plants in his son’s backyard in Alabama for his own medical use. When Alabama officials found out, they arrested Brooker, and sent him to prison for life without the possibility for parole.

Vox.com reports:

How did this happen? Jesse Wegman explained for the New York Times:

[Brooker] said the plants were for his own medicinal use only — he suffers from multiple chronic ailments — and prosecutors did not dispute that.

Remarkably, they didn’t have to. Alabama, like three other states, mandates a life without parole sentence for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana by people with certain prior felony convictions — and Mr. Brooker had been convicted of a string of robberies twenty years earlier in Florida, crimes for which he served 10 years in prison. In such a case, the law doesn’t require prosecutors to prove any intent to sell the drug.

In Mississippi, 30 grams — barely one ounce — is enough to send someone to prison for the rest of his or her life, with no chance of release. Alabama’s cutoff is slightly higher, at one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, but that makes no more sense, and was no help to Mr. Brooker, whose plants weighed in at 2.8 pounds, including unusable parts like stalks and leaves.

So Brooker, an elderly man with disabilities, is now serving a life sentence for a string of robberies 20 years ago, for which he already served time, and marijuana possession.

It’s an incredible situation, not least because Brooker likely wouldn’t be in prison if he lived in one of the 24 states that allow people to use pot for medical purposes or four states that let people use the drug for any other reason.

Brooker’s situation is very rare — a minority of prisoners are in for drug offenses. But Brooker’s story shows how out of step drug laws can be with public opinion, especially since a majority of Americans agree marijuana should be legal. Even Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who’s notoriously conservative, called Brooker’s sentence “excessive and unjustified.” (The sentence was mandatory — so once prosecutors brought charges that triggered the sentence, judges were required to enforce it.)

There’s also research that suggests these tough sentences don’t deter drug trafficking. A 2014 study from Peter Reuter at the University of Maryland and Harold Pollack at the University of Chicago found there’s no good evidence that tougher punishments do a better job of reducing drug use and substance abuse than lighter penalties.

As extreme as the penalty may seem, the US Supreme Court earlier this week declined to hear a challenge to Brooker’s sentence. He had appealed his case, arguing that such a harsh punishment for marijuana violated his Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. With the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, the sentence remains legal for now.

  • Eamon Energy

    Horrifying!

  • Debbie Thompson

    What the Nazis did before was considered to be “legal”, too.

  • Eevie

    I hate what America has become. WE are the stupid ones…we still let these rotten bastards control us with laws they do not obey, but we have to. American nazi govt……your lives are worthless.

    • bcbingram

      It suks, but its getting better.

      • Eevie

        You are so right! Thank you 🙂

  • Dakota

    Too bad he has never learned from Karl Lentz how to make a claim for the restoration of his property. His two sentence claim will force the man “acting” on the other side to take the stand and they have no man that can do that or say he caused any harm injury or loss to another man. He will win and be set free. They have to answer his claim before them can move their complaint. A claim trumps a complaint in common law and I believe this is still a common law country. Tell him to bring his own court, to court at the public courthouse. As a man and without a lawyer to throw him under the bus. Karl Lentz. Google the name. This is the only way to use our public courthouse and win. it works pretty much on anything if you have caused no harm to man.

  • Aztex

    Who the HELL would be behind something as UNJUST .. can not be in USA .. must be in ME .(ha .. Alabama = USME) . where they kind of do carry out very unjust death sentences .. tragic and UNACCEPTABLE under any circumstances ;( .. death sentence = Life sentence to a 75 year old .. time for everyone to wake up and take our Liberty Back from those who have legislated them down the toilet … so they can have their black market, make billionaire$ and enslave and incarcerate us ALL … ALways something else really going on like BLM/FedGovCorp – Bundy/Hammond/Patriots !!! we all have to get involved .. a lot of very horrible things going on under the guise of LAW (Statutes) Every time anyone’s Civil Rights and COnstitutionally Guaranteed Civil Rights are violated it is a CRIME Against US ALL 🙁

  • KRo Light

    ALL Legal Shit is contract law: subject to consent! Should have (could still at appeal, maybe) demanded to see a contract giving ‘authority’ over him! http://www.losethename.com No name: No contract! Google: Legal Name Fraud!
    Also see ‘Marc Stevens’ or http://www.thePAGG.com <3

  • GeorgeGlobal

    Congress repealed the possession law its in the Congressional Record also who the hell was his attorney?

  • churchboy

    It’s not going to stop until people get furious. These people are going to kill all of us in the most horrible ways. There really are people at that level of evil in the world. They may have political pull with military, police, Hollywood, etc, but that is only because they are individually weak. They are alone in their evil because nobody is as corrupt as them, and they must use tools to accomplish their goals because they do not have the truth on their side. They walk a lonely path. We could easily break these men upon our clubs and shatter their skulls with our slings if we just had the will to survive. To be honest, most of the world’s populace is so damaged on a spiritual level that they aren’t worthy of survival. It will only breed consecutively more damaged descendants. This is, supposedly, why the last great flood happened. But there are some left that are worthy of survival and they will be the leaders of the new world if only they had the balls to stand up. Future generations depend on us and we are failing them. How do I look my child in her eyes when she’s older and tell her I could do nothing effective by myself? I can’t. We all need to band together and kill these twisted fucks, like Soros, before they kill our children. If we’re going to die anyway, we may as well die on our feet fighting spiritual cowards. They fear physical death and live in the material world because they are weak and unable to survive in the realm of the spirit, which absolutely exists on a plane on top of this plane. I’ve seen it many times. We all have, most of us just choose to ignore it. Fight back in every way that you can, even if it means physical death. Just make that death worth it. We should no longer be tortured for growing plants or speaking out or not paying taxes..

  • http://www.bikersbuzz.co/ Diane Gracely

    UNACCEPTABLE period. This man needs to be set free. Maybe he was a criminal 20 years ago but to put him to DEATH over marijuana he was using as medicine is UNJUSTIFIABLE. I believe America is our hell, some days I say I can’t wait to get to heaven, it’s GOT to be better than here. Our government is controlling our lives and the people are allowing this…. it’s got to STOP NOW. Wake up People! FIGHT for our HUMAN RIGHTS. VOTE OUT every idiot in congress and this insanity will STOP. Over haul our health care system and STOP putting everyone in debt because we can’t pay our COPAYS for everything and LEGALIZE the medicine that should NOT even be illegal. AMERICA NEEDS CHANGE and “We the People” are the ONLY one’s who CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

  • William Dwyer

    The headline is wrong. The guy got life imprisonment, not execution. Bad writing, bad editing. You call yourself a journalist?

    • sick of this peon town

      WTF?

  • Butch Knouse

    That’s just TWO strikes and you’re out. I’m a law and order Conservative, but that is ridiculous.

  • Distressed7

    What other Cracker States have similar lunatic laws? I am always amazed how reasoning and humane insight leave the minds of these legalists who also, in many cases, invoke God as their guide in their insane drive for justice. In their religious quest for some semblace of what they construe as law and order these same people soil the name of Christ as any heretic ever could. The Bible is used by many of these so called “conservatives”. They claim to stand for The Bible! The Bible is their so called standard. Really? These same conservatives are, in essence, the same types of religious maniacs who killed Jesus Christ. When Satan needed a false Christianity to pave the way for an anti-Christ, his masterpiece was not the liberal betrayal in it’s obvious immorality. Oh no! He has his masterpiece in the merciless double standard faith called traditional murderous, hypocritical American Christianity.

  • sick of this peon town

    This is just FUCKING BULL SHIT…GOD planted this seed 1st and for most….all of you POS law makers need to get your SHIT together or get the hell outta here. Go to fucking moon for all I care..

  • Ken Weeks

    News flash! You cannot get the death penalty for marijuana.