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Group Says Mandatory Sentencing is Unfair

Group Says Mandatory Sentencing is Unfair

Posted - Aug. 5, 2004 at 4:48 p.m.



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(KSL News) -- At least 29 former legal officials from across the nation have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf a 25-year old Utah man.

Weldon Angelo faces at least 63 years in prison when he is sentenced next month on federal drug and firearms charges. The bulk of that time is required under mandatory-minimum sentences.

The group believes such a sentence would be a violation of the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The brief comes just one month after Utah U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell declared federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional.

Cassell says under federal sentencing rules, murderers and rapists will serve only 168 months and 87 months, respectively. Yet he's required to impose a 660 month sentence on Angelos because he was carrying a gun in an ankle holster while conducting two separate sales of marijuana.

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