An ex-federal judge who sentenced a Utah music producer to fifty-five years in jail for having guns while selling cannabis in the black market pleaded that the president would commute the sentence on Tuesday, the most recent appeal in a case perceived to be the epitome of the issue with minimum sentencing laws. Law professor Paul Cassell stated in a clemency petition letter that he was extremely concerned by the extreme sentenced he needed to give to Weldon Angelos in 2004, a father of two. According to Cassell, the decision was “unjust, cruel, and even irrational.” This is the primary reason the professor retired his position after just half a decade. There are people who have kidnapped, molested, and even murdered who have gotten less of a sentence than Angelos, Cassell states.

“When the sentence for actual violence inflicted on a victim is dwarfed by a sentence for carrying guns to several drug deals, the implicit message to victims is that their pain and suffering counts for less than some abstract ‘war on drugs,’,” Cassell wrote.

Angelos would probably not have to face a sentence such as that one in these times, Cassell added. President Barack Obama has been fighting incredibly hard to either reduce or get rid of extreme minimum sentences for minor offenses. Angelos was the founder of Extravagant Records in Utah, making hip-hop and rap music. He had no criminal record prior to being convicted of selling $350 worth of cannabis to a police informant thrice. According to prosecutors, he was in a gang who had a gun during two of the transaction, but he never used to showed it. Angelos said that he did neither had a weapon nor was in a gang, however, police seized multiple guns while looking through his apartment. In federal court, he was found guilty of sixteen cases of drug selling, weapon owning as well as money laundering.

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