Appeals court overturns 'unconscionable' life sentence to New Orleans man for theft of $15

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Disir, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Disir
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    Disir Gold Member

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    Walter Johnson was walking down a street in Uptown New Orleans a week before Thanksgiving in 2013 when he noticed a Jeep Cherokee with the driver's side window down.

    He glanced inside and saw a laptop computer and $15 in cash — a $10 bill and a $5.

    Johnson snatched the bills. He left the computer.

    As it turns out, the Jeep was a law enforcement "bait vehicle," and Johnson was the catch of the day.

    He was found guilty of simple burglary and illegal possession of stolen things at a trial in April 2015, and Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office promptly invoked the state's habitual-offender law.

    Johnson, who had prior convictions for simple burglary, heroin possession and cocaine distribution, was deemed a four-time felon. Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman sentenced him in October 2015 to a mandatory life prison term with no chance for parole.

    But on Wednesday, an appeals court panel threw out Johnson's life sentence, finding his street heist "shockingly minor in nature," the amount "extraordinary in its triviality" and Johnson's life sentence an "unconscionable" punishment that "shocks our sense of justice."

    The appeals court sent the case back to Herman, telling her to resentence Johnson "to a term that is not unconstitutionally excessive."
    Appeals court overturns 'unconscionable' life sentence to New Orleans man for theft of $15

    In a bait vehicle no less.
     
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  2. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Excellent.
     
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  3. Jarlaxle
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    Jarlaxle Gold Member

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    He should already be serving LWOP, or be in a coffin.
     

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