Drug Policy

'Someone at That Office Must Have Misread the Statute'

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Last November the rapper Wiz Khalifa was charged with drug trafficking, a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 months in prison, after police found two ounces of marijuana on his tour bus at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He was also charged with a second felony, maintaining a vehicle for sale or storage of marijuana, and a misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia. Because of the seriousness of the charges, his bail was set at $300,000. On Wednesday, Pitt County District Attorney Clark Everett admitted that Khalifa should not have been charged with felonies because the amount of marijuana involved was far below the 10-pound threshold set by state law. Whoops. A month ago, Everett dropped the felony charges against Khalifa and six of his associates, instead letting three of them plead guilty to misdemeanor possession and pay $1,000 fines.

If we must have drug laws, is it too much to ask that police and prosecutors be familiar enough with them that they do not confuse misdemeanors punishable by a fine with felonies that can send you to prison for years? "We discovered the error maybe two hours after [Khalifa] paid the bondsman's premium and left," Everett told The Daily Reflector. Yet somehow it took nine months for Everett to drop the unjustified charges. Even now, he does not seem ready to accept any responsibility. "The magistrate or someone at that office must have misread the statute," he said, explaining why Khalifa's bail was 300 times higher than it should have been.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

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  1. Even now, he does not seem ready to accept any responsibility.

    And without any other method to apply responsibility, this will continue.

    1. Responsibility – Apply Directly to the Forehead!
      Responsibility – Apply Directly to the Forehead!
      Responsibility – Apply Directly to the Forehead!

  2. prison hoers started lowriders to advertise their junk. >every teen ive told stops wearing lowriders

    1. “prison hoers started lowriders to advertise their junk”

      That’s bullshit. It had to do with them not having belts in prision.

      1. I thought it was to hide shit like paraphernalia and weapons.

        1. It helps them run faster. This is scientific fact.

          1. Well, they certainly are fleet-footed

      2. i didnt say it was true pip. but that story certainly convinced more than a few

        1. no it didn’t

        2. u guyz know i just make stupid shit up

      3. It may be bullshit, but if it stops just one punk kid from wearing his shit that way, then maybe it should be repeated as often as possible.

        1. first they react in disbelief. then, they use a belt.

        2. Lies for the fatherland!

  3. Charge someone with something greater than what they actually did and it increases the chances of bullying them into taking a plea bargain.
    Right dunphy?

    1. not really. since what he was charged with was prima facie unreasonable, and yet…

      1) the prosecutor missed it

      and

      2) the judge missed it

      which says more for their dual incompetence than anything else.

      i wouldn’t be surprised if his frigging defense attorney missed it, since it should have been raised AT the bail setting

      although, one thing about the article is wrong…

      the misdemeanor “misdemeanors punishable by a fine with felonies that can send you to prison for years” are generally punishable by jail OR a fine, but as i have pointed out ad nauseum, GENERALLY SPEAKING, *if* people are charged with MJ misdemeanor offenses, and they don;’t have substantial priors, etc. it almost always merely results in a fine … at worst.

      which was the case here.

      most misdemeanors in most jurisdictions are punishable by up to a year in jail.

      however, mj offenders WHEN CHARGED (like i said, cops and prosecutors routinely don’t even bother in the first place) get jail time of any sort VERY RARELY unless they have substantial priors etc.

      1. which says more for their dual incompetence than anything else.

        Maybe it’s just routine, and this guy was able to afford a lawyer who was competent enough to catch it.
        Without a lawyer he’d get a public pretender whose job is to please the DA, and have little choice but to go on trial for the full charges or take a plea.

      2. And perhaps the arresting officer missed it too.

  4. Pull your fucking pants up, Wiz.

  5. Anyone know whether he can get his money back, or does the bond premium not work that way? In a just world, any excess he paid the bondsman would be reimbursed by taking it out of Everett’s salary.

    1. S’mine.

    2. A rapper than can’t raise 300K without having to go to a bondsman? What kind of rapper is he? Even Vanilla Ice could raise 300K.

      1. He should be wearing jewelery worth more than that.

        1. Are you this Drake? Because he is pretty hot for someone from the new Degrassi.

          1. I’m the other one.

            1. So why aren’t you posting as “The Other Drake”?

              1. Wait, Drake from “Aliens”?

  6. Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.

    Thanks to Cowan for keeping up the fight over the years.

  7. So did he get his $299,000 back?

  8. Statutes were misread.

    Dominance was maintained.

  9. It had to do with them not having belts in prision.

    “I said, “Opie, did ya think I wuz gonna hang myself for LITTERIN’?”

    1. That really is how it started.

      OriginLee D. Baker, Dean of Academic Affairs at Duke University, states that it is widely believed that sagging was adopted from the United States prison system where belts are prohibited.[3] Belts are sometimes prohibited to keep prisoners from using them as weapons or in committing suicide by hanging themselves.[4][5] The style was later popularized by hip-hop artists in the 1990s.[4] It has since become a symbol of freedom and cultural awareness among many youths[6] or a symbol of their rejection of the values of mainstream society.[7]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagging_(fashion)

      1. pretty sad that morons adopt prison culture to be “cool”.

        that looking like an inmate is considered cool.

        1. No shit, man.

          1. Yeah, well…counterculture, man. What can you do?

    2. “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,KILL, KILL.”

      1. arlo guthrie used to play every summer in martha’s vineyard. good concert, but hippie infested.

        not sure if he still does

        1. I attended every year. Front row center. I always took my wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah,here’s your ticket!

  10. Also, to my glancing eye, those smoke rings spelled out “spooge”.

    1. That gives another interpretation of that picture as him inhaling instead of exhaling.

  11. But remember: ignorance of the law is no excuse! Unless you’re somebody whose job it is to understand and uphold the law, in which case it’s apparently required.

    1. This is really the issue. It’s gone beyond parody, now; the law is so complex that not even the lawyers, judges, and cops know what’s what. And instead of saying “this is retarded”, they use it as a weapon against people and excuse themselves from the same requirements.

      Scum.

      1. I need a job where I’m exempt from consequence.

        1. Take your pick:
          Judge
          Law enforcement
          Prosecutor
          Public school teacher
          Postal worker
          Pretty much any public sector unionized job.
          Pretty much any private sector unionized job (since not bowing to the union draws the wrath of the NLRB).

      2. How can the police state be justified without making the law so convoluted that everyone is a criminal?

      3. that law doesn’t sound that complex to me.

        they sound like fuckups. if the state law says “you need X lbs to charge Y”, that doesn’t sound particularly complicated to me.

        if it was some sort of obscure case law thing i might agree, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case.

        heck, the county i work in won’t charge ANY felony drug cases (no matter what the drug) on a mere possession basis unless the guy has substantial priors (determined by prosecutors). coke, meth, etc. – doesn’t matter.

        iow, despite what the RCW says, in some counties in WA, ALL drug possession is a misdemeanor (at worst). something you will not see reported in reason.com because it goes agains the “ultra harsh” drug war meme.

        1. How many people are in jail in this country because of the drug war, dunphy? How many people are dying down in Mexico because of it? How many lives have to be ruined by the stupidity of thje drug war before it’s “ultra harsh” in your world?

          Jesus, you’re just an incorrigible fuckhead, despite your moments of sanity.

        2. You also consistently make the mistake of acting like WA is some kind of major state with a huge population that is representative of everywhere else. You are very careful to always point out that you speak only for your county or jurisdiction (good on you), but frequently fail to acknowledge the many metro areas larger than Sea-Tac with much harsher laws.

          Technically 1st-time offense MJ possession in Texas cannot result in jail time. However, I can personally attest that they count previous warrants issued for traffic fines as “priors” in order to circumvent that rule and justify jailing, among other unsavory practices. The drug war is that harsh in many places.

          1. Except when he refused to speak for the WA cops in this morning’s mornings link comments.

        3. that law doesn’t sound that complex to me.

          You’ll never make Chief with that attitude.

  12. Ignorantia juris non excusat.

    1. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      1. Cave diem.

        1. Plena anguillis est navis volans mea

          1. Illiud Latine dici non potest.

            1. Semper ubi sub ubi.

              1. tua mater meritrix sepelunque est

                1. Uckfay unphyday ithway a owerdrillpay.

                  Ahahahahahahahabway!!!

                  1. PIG Latin. Nice!

  13. Because of the seriousness of the charges…

    That was a joke, right?

    1. Well, the charges were serious; the offense wasn’t.

  14. Yeah, busting rappers who have album titles like, “Rolling Papers” for weed possession is some really sharp detective work. i wonder if it was the hit single, “I get high all the time, especially on my tour bus” that tipped them off that something might be fishy.

    1. It’s like when Willie Nelson’s tour bus gets pulled over. The police already know what they are going to find.

    2. How about some Champagne & Reefer?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

  15. When Rick Perry was asked whether he worried that Texas would execute an innocent man, his answer was appropriate — if you dont like the death penalty in Texas, dont come to Texas and commit the following crimes. However, if Brian williams wants to prevent the execution of the innocent in death penalty states, he needs to start with problems such as the one described in this article: overcharging, mis-charging, poor investigation, and judges not following bail guidlines (isnt there an amendment on this?) And there needs to punishment for Officers of the Court who commit the above infractions. Start with the small and the big things will take care of themselves.

    1. Work in food service and you eat on the cheap or even free.

      Work as a pilot and you get cheap or free travel.

      Work in law enforcement and the law ceases to apply to you.

      Perks.

      1. ah, sarcasmic still applying his whiny “i got fucked over” litany, even though he clearly got due process and was guilty as fuck but can’t deal with it.

        oh, and which law ceased to apply here?

        specifically.

        if a mistake was made in charging, that is not a crime.

        so again, what law was broken?

        1. What incentive is there for officers, judges and prosecutors to correctly enforce the law?

          1. old expression – dont tell me what the law is; tell me who the judge is.

          2. Pride in service to others?

            1. Good one.

        2. I like how you’ll bend over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to a fellow cop, but sarcasmic is “guilty as fuck” based on his posts here.

          Nice double standard, just like every other cop in the country.

          1. Nice double standard, just like every other cop pig in the country.

            ftfy

          2. It is amazing how dunphy can be so “street smart” and “bureaucratically naive” at the same time.

        3. Tell you what. You get hit by a car that runs a red light, have to fix the car because the pig doesn’t mention the running of the light in the report, and then get back to me about getting fucked over.
          Fucking pigs. You’re all the same.

          1. Fucking pigs. You’re all the same.

            This dude. This. They are the enforcement arm of the State. They didn’t get in “the force” to do good. They KNOW that they can do whatever the hell they want and get away with it under the most bullshit pretext they can fine. Most take advantage of this fact EVERY DAY. Some of the so-called “good” ones may take advantage of it only once a month. But a true anti-authoritarian good person, would NEVER have joined the cops in the first place, and if they somehow had (maybe family pressure or something), they would have resigned their commission within months.

            1. Well, that’s pretty cynical, Zuo. Maybe they’r ejust waiting to go all Serpico.

    2. …his answer was appropriate — if you dont like the death penalty in Texas, dont come to Texas and commit the following crimes.

      Actually, I would take that to mean that his answer is grossly inappropriate, if given in response to a question about executing an innocent person. Because you see, the defining attribute of an innocent person, is that they didn’t commit the crime.

    3. “When Rick Perry was asked whether he worried that Texas would execute an innocent man, his answer was appropriate — if you dont like the death penalty in Texas, dont come to Texas and commit the following crimes.”

      Or be wrongly accused of those crimes. Just ask Cameron Willingham.

      Except you can’t, thanks to Perry. Who, by the way, rationalized what that execution by stating that though evidence proved Willingham had not started the fire, he had done other bad things.

  16. http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp…..t-20110909

    (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A Rhode Island police chief will be in court Friday accused of stealing from a crime scene.

    Authorities say North Providence Police Chief Colonel John Whiting began chasing an SUV on August 28. Authorities say the SUV crashed.

    At the scene, Colonel Whiting allegedly stole a purse containing $714 in cash from the vehicle then tried to cover it up.

    The 57-year-old is charged with Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He is out on personal recognizance.

    Read more: http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp…..z1XTxZvSQs

  17. (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A Rhode Island police chief will be in court Friday accused of stealing from a crime scene.

    Authorities say North Providence Police Chief Colonel John Whiting began chasing an SUV on August 28. Authorities say the SUV crashed.

    At the scene, Colonel Whiting allegedly stole a purse containing $714 in cash from the vehicle then tried to cover it up.

    The 57-year-old is charged with Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He is out on personal recognizance.

    Read more: http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp…..z1XTxZvSQs

  18. (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A Rhode Island police chief will be in court Friday accused of stealing from a crime scene.

    Authorities say North Providence Police Chief Colonel John Whiting began chasing an SUV on August 28. Authorities say the SUV crashed.

    At the scene, Colonel Whiting allegedly stole a purse containing $714 in cash from the vehicle then tried to cover it up.

    The 57-year-old is charged with Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He is out on personal recognizance.

    Read more: http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp…..z1XTxZvSQs

    1. Is he getting a paid vacation?

    2. He’s the chief? And he’s 57?

      Obviously the first time this behavior has happened.

      1. He should have only stolen $199. But good to know that somebody in or around that department has scruples and that they actually have controls and standards in place.

  19. If we must have drug laws, is it too much to ask that police and prosecutors be familiar enough with them that they do not confuse misdemeanors punishable by a fine with felonies that can send you to prison for years?

    Evdiently, yes; it is too much to ask. Res ipsa loquitur.

  20. Hmm. I’m really not sure how anybody in the court system mixed up 2 oz. and 10 lbs.

    1. Fucking metric system.

      1. If NASA screws it up, what hope is there for barely literate police?

        1. This particular individual.

  21. Who the hell sags tighty whities? He should be charged with a felony for that.

    Boxers, my brother. Boxers.

    1. Those are obviously boxer briefs.

  22. What better illustration is there of the absurdity which is the Kinetic Military Action on Drugs — it is a felony to “maintain” an automobile for the sale or storage of marijuana. Over and above the felony of possessing or selling the marijuana in the first place.

  23. If we must have drug laws, is it too much to ask that police and prosecutors be familiar enough with them

    It would be nice if this kid sued the shit out of the police and the prosecutors office for displaying a wanton ignorance of the law– which I hear is never an excuse.

  24. “”The magistrate or someone at that office must have misread the statute,” he said, explaining why Khalifa’s bail was 300 times higher than it should have been.”

    Truly impressive.

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