Mississippi’s Top Court Upholds Life Sentence For Weed Conviction By ‘Habitual Offender’

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newsone.com -(Photo/Twitter) A Black man serving life in prison stemming from a marijuana conviction had his sentence upheld last week by Mississippi‘s top court in a ruling that had to do more with his criminal past than the crime for which he was imprisoned.Last Thursday, “the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that Allen Russell’s life sentence was not a violation of the Eighth Amendment and was in line with state statute,” the local news outlet KPLC reported. The ruling eliminates the possibility of parole for Russell.It was the latest sign that the failed war on drugs is still going strong amid a growing legalization movement that has made recreational use of the drug permittable in an increasing number of states.The state’s Supreme Court decision about Russell came more than a year after the Mississippi Court of Appeals denied Russell’s appeal in part because he is a “habitual offender,” a classification that eliminates any judicial discretion and guarantees harsher sentences for people who have previously been convicted multiple times — even if the most recent offense is nonviolent.