Crime

Tyrone Brown Freed

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The Drug War Chronicle notes that Tyrone Brown [name corrected], the Texas man who got a life sentence for smoking pot while he was serving 10 years' probation on a robbery charge, was freed this week following a conditional pardon by Gov. Rick Perry. Unlike many imprisoned drug offenders, Brown was a predatory criminal, and he probably deserved a punishment more severe than the one he initially got, even though he was a first-time offender and no one was injured in the robbery (which netted $2). But to go from probation to life imprisonment based on pot smoking is so clearly indefensible that even Perry recognized the injustice—with a little encouragement from The Dallas Morning News, 20/20, the local sheriff, the district attorney, and (weirdly) the judge who sent Brown to prison, who is no longer on the bench and has never explained his reasons for resentencing him.