Louisiana State has more people per every 100,000 behind bars than any other state in the country. New Orleans has the highest incarceration rate than any other city in the country. While most of American legislators are talking about curtailing prison sentences for nonviolent crimes, Louisiana seems to have the exact opposite in mind. And it is bringing some negative attention to the lawmakers of the state.
While police summonses for marijuana possession used instead of immediate arrests has helped drop arrests for that particular crime, the trend is not common for all drug-related crimes in the state. One defendant, Mr. Briggs, had a nonviolent drug distribution conviction and a nonviolent gun possession conviction on his record when he was arrested again for nonviolent drug distribution. He faced a minimum of 33 years in prison and was sentenced to 50.
Attorney Carter has been quoted as saying that the system’s excessive sentencing for nonviolent crimes is “outrageous” and that it “throws people’s lives away.” Even presiding judges who disagree with the strict sentencing have their hands tied due to the steep minimum sentencing requirements for repeat convictions.
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