first time offender gets 55 years


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Stebalo
November 18, 2004, 06:45 PM
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I am against criminalizing guns but am in favor if criminalizing criminal behavior. This guy got 55 years for gun posession while dealing drugs. It doesn't say but I don't think any violence was involved. 3 counts of gun posession--the first got him 5 years the second and third counts had mandatory minimum federal sentences of 25 years each. I'm not in favor of drug dealers let alone drug dealers with guns and feel they should be dealt with harshly. However this seems excessive.

I would like to consider some other opinions on this. Thanks.

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,595106003,00.html


Wednesday, November 17, 2004


He reluctantly imposes a 55-year prison term
By Angie Welling
Deseret Morning News

A Utah federal judge on Tuesday reluctantly imposed a 55-year mandatory-minimum sentence on a first-time drug offender, but not before delivering a scathing rebuke on the sentencing laws that mandate the term.
"To sentence Mr. Angelos to prison for essentially the rest of his life is unjust, cruel and even irrational," U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell said.
That said, however, Cassell said he had no choice but to follow the statutes and sentence 25-year-old Weldon Angelos to prison for more than half a century. But in doing so, he called on President Bush to commute Angelos' sentence to one more in line with his crime. The judge suggested 18 years and asked Congress to revisit the mandatory-minimum laws that required the term.
The sentence was handed down in front of a full courtroom of Angelos' family and friends, as well as legal observers, many of whom expected Cassell to declare unconstitutional the mandatory-minimum sentencing laws that governed Angelos' sentence.
Angelos' loved ones, including his wife and two young sons, were in tears upon hearing Cassell's decision. Defense attorney Jerome Mooney also expressed disappointment.
"We just saw the effect of a Congress concerned about their seats and re-election instead of justice," Mooney said, saying the harsh sentencing laws prove legislators are more concerned with being viewed as tough on crime rather than the imposition of fair punishments on criminal offenders.
To mandate a term that would keep the young father behind bars until he is 80 years old, Mooney said, is "unjust, and Congress should be ashamed of themselves."
Angelos, the founder of the Utah-based rap music label Extravagant Records, initially faced at least a 61 1/2-year sentence for the 16 criminal counts of which he was convicted in December. The bulk of that term — the 55 years imposed Tuesday — is based on just three firearms charges for carrying a gun during two drug sales and for keeping additional firearms at his Fort Union apartment.
Cassell imposed just one day for the additional 13 drug, firearm and money-laundering charges.
The case has garnered the attention of legal experts across the country, who have been following Cassell's moves since June, when he declared the federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional in the case of a Utah man convicted of child pornography. That ruling came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that called the constitutionality of the guidelines into question.
Mooney, joined by 29 former legal officials from across the nation, had asked Cassell to find that the onerous mandatory-minimum term in the Angelos case constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The defense also argued the firearm statute is not applied equally to all criminal defendants, a violation of Angelos' equal-protection rights.
And although Cassell appeared to agree with the defense on nearly every point, the judge, in a lengthy opinion released immediately following Tuesday's hearing, said his analysis failed to meet the legal threshold required to find a statute unconstitutional. Thus, he said, he was required to impose the "Draconian" prison sentence.
"Our constitutional system of government requires the court to follow the law, not its own personal views about what the law ought to be," the judge wrote.
Federal prosecutors have maintained throughout the case that Cassell had no choice but to impose the mandatory-minimum sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lund argued Tuesday that lawmakers passed the firearms statute — which requires a five-year mandatory-minimum sentence for the first charge and a 25-year term for each count thereafter — with the clear intent to address the growing problem of mixing drugs and firearms.

Attorney Jerome Mooney talks to the media after his client Weldon Angelos was sentenced to prison, calling the virtually lifelong term unjust.
"Drugs and gun violence are an endemic problem in this country," Lund said. "There's a huge societal impact."
Angelos' sentence simply reinforces the message Congress intended and will serve as an important deterrent, Lund said.
"People who engage in armed violent crime or armed drug dealing are going to face very serious consequences," he said.
Critics of the legal mandate, however, question the fairness of a method that doesn't allow judges to tailor a sentence to fit a particular crime or criminal defendant.
"Judicial discretion has always been the heart and soul of the American justice system," said Monica Pratt, of the Washington D.C.-based organization Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
Margaret Plane, staff attorney for the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed.
"That's why this case is such a great example," Plane said. "(Mandatory-minimum) laws apply without regard to the offense type, without regard to the particular offender. It's really kind of a one-size-fits-all approach, and that's not how our justice system should necessarily work."
Despite his ultimate finding, University of Utah law professor Erik Luna commended Cassell for addressing the matter at all.
"Judge Cassell did a very brave thing in even raising the issue," said Luna, an outspoken critic of federal sentencing laws. "We need to take this to the next level, which is to talk to the politicians. . . . I hope and pray some day that sanity will come back to the system."

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itgoesboom
November 18, 2004, 06:59 PM
Oh, wah, wah wah.

This poor young father is a victim, he didn't do anything wrong.... :scrutiny:

[/sarcasm off]

Look, we have laws. Drugs are illegal, he made the decision to deal drugs, and at the same time he made the decision to carry a firearm while doing it. We all complain about drug houses on our blocks, and violence from drug dealers, and here we have a chance to show how tough we are when it comes to dealing with them.

We can effectivly send a message to these punks that are actively involved in ruining our society.

You get caught, tough ****. You go to jail.

I will shed no tears when these elements of our society are no longer allowed in our society.

I.G.B.

Bobarino
November 18, 2004, 07:01 PM
i'm just fine with it. the fact is, laws don't prevent crime, they only outline what punishment you will get if break said laws. aside from our own morals, which some people don't have, like the guy in the story, the only thing that prevents people from commiting crimes is fear of being thrown in the pokey or some other form of punishment. if those punishments are substantial, waaaay more substantial than they are now, then some folks might think twice about commiting a crime. i'm all for being MUCH harsher on criminals. be it for gun violations or dealing drugs. in my opinion, a good way to reduce crime is to double all current mandatory minimum sentences and do away with the parole system all together. you get ten years, you serve ten years. not a day more or less. just my opinion of course.

Bobby

itgoesboom
November 18, 2004, 07:05 PM
BTW....

It should be noted that there were 16 counts against him, including drug dealing and money laundering and the other firearm charges.

And he is not a "first time offender", it just happens this was the first time he got caught.

I have little sympathy for people who do drugs. I have ZERO sympathy for dealers.

Now if we were talking that he had an 1/8 ounce of pot, and was smoking it in his home, than I would think this was extreme.

But, once again, I have zero sympathy for dealers.

I.G.B.

Beren
November 18, 2004, 07:30 PM
Now if we were talking that he had an 1/8 ounce of pot, and was smoking it in his home, than I would think this was extreme.

But, once again, I have zero sympathy for dealers.

Why? If it's "not so bad" for someone to have 1/8 ounce of pot in their home, someone has to grow the pot, and someone has to distribute the pot.

Decriminalize, control like the accepted recreational drugs (alcohol, tobacco), and tax. Watch violent crime drop as there is no longer a profitable market to fight over.

TearsOfRage
November 18, 2004, 07:32 PM
Well, the money laundering shows that he was dealing as a business, so he knew the risk he was taking.

I do think the mandatory minimums are excessive, though. I don't see how he was doing anything more 'wrong' with three guns than with one. And for all we know, he may have had them only for his own self defense.

I've never been too sure about the idea of x counts of _____ for what was really one incident either.

Daemon688
November 18, 2004, 07:44 PM
He knew the risks invovled and he got what he deserved.

Hawkmoon
November 18, 2004, 07:44 PM
The nice thing about mandatory sentences is that anybody can look up ahead of time and know what they're facing if they choose to embark on an "extra-legal" enterprise. Those who oppose mandatory sentences conveniently forget that before we had them, they were the same bleeding hearts who complained loud and bitterly about the terrible inequities of a criminal justice system that allowed two people convicted of the same (or similar) crime(s) to receive vastly different sentences.

So Congress responded, and fixed that little problem. Now everyone gets treated more nearly the same ... and now every liberal defense attorney thinks HIS (or HER) client is the poster child who should be exempt from the same uniform sentencing laws they were asking for a few years ago.

BS

Daemon688
November 18, 2004, 07:46 PM
Decriminalize, control like the accepted recreational drugs (alcohol, tobacco), and tax. Watch violent crime drop as there is no longer a profitable market to fight over.

Not that I agree with my next statement but....

What if there was a mandatory death penalty or life in prison sentence if people were caught with drugs. How much would that stop drug use?

mfree
November 18, 2004, 08:12 PM
What if there was a mandatory death penalty or life in prison sentence if people were caught with drugs. How much would that stop drug use?

Well, if it were the death penalty, I gather you'd see quite the population thinning in some areas of the country...

coma
November 18, 2004, 08:15 PM
I believe the saying is still true, "If you can't do the time don't do the crime"

Deal drugs go to jail, what else do people need to know?

Standing Wolf
November 18, 2004, 08:18 PM
More Great Victories in the war against some drugs!

deej
November 18, 2004, 08:19 PM
I feel safer already.

JerryM
November 18, 2004, 08:36 PM
I wouldn't give him 55 years if I could give him 100 years or better yet the death penalty.

Jerry

FeebMaster
November 18, 2004, 08:44 PM
I see this thread is already filling up Republicans, likely of the small government variety, eager to support various drug and gun laws.

sigmaman
November 18, 2004, 08:51 PM
well lets see
look at it like this
he deals in cash needs a gun to protect himself
since the money is illegally gained hes guilty of money laundering
he had 3 guns so 3 counts of guns posession by a drug dealer
mmm
i wonder if rush limbaughs dealers were packing
how about if we decriminalise and control?
i like that idea of total freedom a lot better

JohnBT
November 18, 2004, 09:14 PM
Additional quote found on the web...

"Cassell noted that the same day he sentenced Angelos, he gave 22 years to a man convicted of beating an old woman to death with a log."

It's a strange world some days.

John

Flyboy
November 18, 2004, 09:32 PM
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."


Fifty-five years of his life isn't "excessive" for posession of a naturally-occurring plant (ever wonder why they call it "weed?"), with intent to sell to willing consumers, with no violence or violation of the rights of the people with whom he dealt?

Fifty-five years for carrying a gun to defend himself? It's not like he started any fights. Does he really forfeit his moral right to be alive just because a few people don't like the plants he offers for sale to willing buyers?

Fifty-five years. He's twenty-five now. That means he'll be released at age eighty! Life expectancy being what it is, the odds are against his ever being a free man again. This is, for all practical purposes, a life sentence, for somebody who hasn't violated anybody's rights.




"I wouldn't give him 55 years if I could give him 100 years or better yet the death penalty." "I believe the saying is still true, 'If you can't do the time don't do the crime.' Deal drugs go to jail, what else do people need to know?" "if those punishments are substantial, waaaay more substantial than they are now, then some folks might think twice about commiting a crime. i'm all for being MUCH harsher on criminals."

OK, here's a thought: mandatory $10,000 fine, five years in jail, and ten year suspension-of-license for anybody caught speeding, running a red light, etc. After all, "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime." And besides, as itgoesboom pointed out, this wasn't his first time, just his first conviction. No doubt, if you're caught for speeding, you've done it before. We have to make sure to punish you for everything you've ever done, not just the ones we can prove, right?

Heck, he's already done it, why even bother with the trial? We could save the taxpayers a lot of expense right there!

RevDisk
November 18, 2004, 10:00 PM
I find it amusing that his guy got 55 years, and the Enron CEO served how much time in jail?

TearsOfRage
November 18, 2004, 10:09 PM
I've got an idea! Let's make it a felony (with a mandatory minimum) to possess a firearm while speeding! After all, speeding is illegal. We don't want criminals to have guns. I mean, if a person does something illegal with a car, you KNOW they're gonna do something bad with a gun, right? Right?

:rolleyes:

Jeff Timm
November 18, 2004, 10:11 PM
He deserved a suspension sentence. As in "by the neck, until DEAD."

Geoff
Who has no sympathy for Dealerss, or the Democrat politicians who protect them. :fire:

Car Knocker
November 18, 2004, 10:22 PM
From a different story:

"Angelos, who had no prior convictions, was originally indicted on one gun possession count, three counts of marijuana distribution and two lesser charges.

"Angelos declined a plea deal to serve 15 years. In response, the U.S. Attorney's Office obtained a new indictment with 20 charges mandating a minimum 105-year sentence."

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2464294

Seems to me that the Feds were being a little vindictive in this case. Next thing ya know, if you're cited for speeding on federal property and decide to contest the citation, the prosecutor just might decide to tack on a half-dozen other charges just to show ya who's got the biggest ones!

JerryM
November 18, 2004, 10:28 PM
Flyboy,

Aren't you a Libertarian? If so don't you believe that people should be responsible for their actions?

So you say yes, then how responsible? See why your LP views won't work?

Jerry

316SS
November 18, 2004, 10:31 PM
Flyboy wrote:
This is, for all practical purposes, a life sentence, for somebody who hasn't violated anybody's rights.

At the dire risk of sounding like WildAlaska...

Flyboy, I find your rational and non-hyprocritical viewpoint uncalled for, and very bad form.

316SS

Hawkmoon
November 18, 2004, 10:41 PM
From a different story:

"Angelos, who had no prior convictions, was originally indicted on one gun possession count, three counts of marijuana distribution and two lesser charges.

"Angelos declined a plea deal to serve 15 years. In response, the U.S. Attorney's Office obtained a new indictment with 20 charges mandating a minimum 105-year sentence."

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2464294

Seems to me that the Feds were being a little vindictive in this case. Next thing ya know, if you're cited for speeding on federal property and decide to contest the citation, the prosecutor just might decide to tack on a half-dozen other charges just to show ya who's got the biggest ones!
THIS I find very bothersome.

Not surprising, mind you ... but bothersome. I do not approve of beating a defendent to death (figuratively ... sort of) by leafing through the law code to find every last offense he/she could possibly be charged with. If "the punishment should fit the crime" ... so should the charge(s).

GigaBuist
November 18, 2004, 10:51 PM
Show of hands, how many people here calling for the death penalty actually KNOW a drug dealer on a somewhat personal level? I do, and no I'm not a customer or anything. I just know who they are from my younger years.

They're not all that bad, at least the ones I know. I'll grant you that a my cousin, a drug dealer, is a horrible person, and should have been locked up a long long time ago (in and out of the prison system) but the ones I know really aren't out for blood or anything.

Hell I know people that have ben "cut off" by their dealers when the dealer thought their habit was getting out of control. Maybe that's a rarity, but a "client" that's out of control is a liability to themselves and to the dealer. Just good business sense.

If you don't know a real-deal drug dealer then do you know anybody who makes mooonshine? Makes too much home brew to be legal and sells it? Same deal, really, at least in my mind.

End the prohibition on some drugs and watch the violence surrounding them disappear as proper businessmen (might even be the same people) take control of the legal industry. They can use the courts to settle their differences then, if there's any legal recourse, instead of violence.

Just my two cents.

Fletchette
November 18, 2004, 10:52 PM
I agree with Flyboy. This was excessive punishment.

I am kind of dismayed at the prejudice expressed by some of the posters here (paraphrase: "he was a drug dealer - hang him!") because this response is exactly analogous to the holier-than-thou attitude of the gun banners. They think that gun ownership is a somehow immoral and those that have them are second-class citizens.

Look, this guy didn't hurt anybody. Even if you believe that dealing drugs should be a crime, why should having a gun during that crime warrant an increase in sentence?

For example, why should a murderer who commits his crime with a knife get a lesser sentence than a murderer that uses a gun?

The mentallity that a crime "is so much worse" if a gun is involved is one of the reasons we have such difficulty defending the Second Amendment.

Flyboy
November 18, 2004, 10:55 PM
Aren't you a Libertarian? If so don't you believe that people should be responsible for their actions?

Yes, they should be responsible for their actions, and only for their actions (or, more correctly, they should only be responsible for the consequences of that over which they have some control). So, he's responsible for the consequences of selling marijuana and posessing firearms.

No, you don't have me that easily. Let's take a look at the definition of "consequence." From dictionary.com:

# Something that logically or naturally follows from an action or condition. See Synonyms at effect.
# The relation of a result to its cause.
# A logical conclusion or inference.

So, the consequences of, say, discharging a gun in somebody else's direction might include a bullet wound. That is, the wound is a direct result of the action, and necessarily follows from the action. There's a causative relationship as a result of the laws of physics.

Legal consequences arise from the laws of man, and even then, don't necessarily arise. We can all think of examples of an action that avoided legal consequences, so there are enough data to support the idea that legal retribution does not follow necessarily. It is something we have chosen to impose, not something that must happen. As such, and because it imposed willfully and independantly of the actual action, is not something for which one takes responsibility. Rather, it is the vehicle by which that responsibility is taken.

For example, I throw a brick through your window. (I wouldn't do this, but work with me here.) I am responsible for the consequences, i.e. the damaged glass. The payment of restitution is the vehicle by which I am held responsible; it is how I make whole the damages I've caused. Anything beyond that is a punishment which society has chosen to institute upon me for violating your rights (specifically, your property rights).

In this case, there is clear harm to another party (you), as a consequence (direct result) of actions perpetrated by me. I am responsible for that harm.

Now, as for this case: where is the harm? What harm has been committed when the defendant dispenses marijuana to willing buyers, or when he posesses firearms while doing so? The guns didn't hurt anybody; nobody's rights were violated; nobody was coerced into buying (at least, no mention was made of it). What are the consequences--the direct result--of his posession of firearms?

Now, to treat the drug issue: where's the harm in selling weed? Actual, provable harm, harm that is a direct result of the sale. Just because the buyer may use it for, shall we say, recreational purposes, doesn't mean that the seller has caused harm. Consider that we could use firearms (or knives, or medications, or a lamp cord) to cause harm; is the seller, then, responsible for our use of his products? After all, he did give us the tool we used to hurt ourselves; is he directly in control of how we use them? I rather doubt it. The seller is responsible for the consequences--direct, provable actions--of those actions over which he has control. The defendant didn't force his buyers to imbibe, so he's not responsible for the use to which the buyers put the product, any more than Colt would be responsible if you used their product to injure somebody (not that you would). He merely provided a product that was in demand, in an economic exchange entered into freely by all parties. What rights were violated?


So you say yes, then how responsible? See why your LP views won't work?

No, I don't see. I see a situation in which there's no harm for which to be responsible. And, even if there were harm, go back to the original theme of my post: justice. Note that the root word there is "just." Is it just for him to never again take a free breath for posessing firearms without causing anybody harm? Note that the 55-year sentence is for the firearms charges, not the drug charges. The intent of the law was to punish (certain types of) violent crime. No violent crime occurred here. How is this just?

xenophon
November 18, 2004, 10:55 PM
55 years in jail, goodness. People who get convicted of murdering other people sometimes get less sentences.

The bulk of that term — the 55 years imposed Tuesday — is based on just three firearms charges for carrying a gun during two drug sales and for keeping additional firearms at his Fort Union apartment.

Ok I didn't see if he was a PRIOR convicted felon, but if he wasn't, I don't see how having 2 other firearms at his apartment lends to 55 more years in jail. Lets makeup a scenario and assume you get involved in a self-defense criminal case where you used your gun, and for some reason or another, the jury didn't see it your way and convicted you of manslaughter. At the sentencing hearing, the judge says that since you had 2 extra firearms back at home, not related to the place you were at, you get an additional 55 years.

I know the case from this thread has to do with guns and drugs, but what's to stop laws being put in place that give stiffer mandatory penalties for other "crimes" where a gun was on the person but the gun wasn't used in the crime. My beef with this case is simply by having a tool on him, he was put away for basically the rest of his life. If he was convicted for using that gun in a bad way, then yes, put him away, but if the gun didn't get involved in his crime, don't punish the guy for it.

"Sorry Mr. Smith, normally I would just write you a ticket for this speeding infraction, but since you had alcohol in the car, even though you didn't drink any, we are going to give you a mandatory fine of $10,000. Because, you know, you could have used that alcohol to make your speeding more dangerous."

xenophon

Flyboy
November 18, 2004, 11:21 PM
By the way, to those who would impose the death penalty for this "crime," or for drug crime in general:

Are you nuts?

Are you seriously suggesting that we create thousands--perhaps tens, or hundreds of thousands--of new capital criminals? Let's think about the outcome of that one for a minute.

Say I'm a drug dealer. If I get caught, I'm gonna die. There is no more severe punishment that can be applied for anything else I might do, so I have every incentive to take any and all actions that might improve my odds of escape, and absolutely no reason not to. If I'm going to be executed for selling a few ounces of weed, I may as well carry a few guns, and use them aggressively, if needed to escape. If a cop gets me in cuffs, I'm a dead man, so it is to my advantage to do anything and everything that will keep me out of his grasp.

Capital punishment is the ultimate penalty; there can be no greater (in our system). Once you hit that level, it can't get worse. And, as the old truism states, "there's nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose."

Do you really want to go down this road?

(Note that the "justice" argument still applies as well.)

FeebMaster
November 18, 2004, 11:26 PM
I've got an idea! Let's make it a felony (with a mandatory minimum) to possess a firearm while speeding! After all, speeding is illegal. We don't want criminals to have guns. I mean, if a person does something illegal with a car, you KNOW they're gonna do something bad with a gun, right? Right?

:rolleyes:

Don't give them any ideas!

beemerb
November 19, 2004, 12:15 AM
I have read the whole news story twice and can't find anything that says what he was selling for drugs.If weed I think the 55 yrs are way out of line.Now if he was dealing meth or heron I think it was too light sentence.
I have seen too many people messed up from meth or coke.
Don't get me wrong I don't aprove of pot though I think as a medical drug it should be legal and have voted thus for it.Course it passed and a judge said no so my vote didn't count nor the votes of the majority of AZ voters.This is just my opinion of course
Bob

Car Knocker
November 19, 2004, 12:25 AM
beemerb, see post #22.

sigmaman
November 19, 2004, 12:33 AM
in her country (philippines) they have the death penalty for drug dealers and drug possesors. get caught with a joint ...death penalty sabu (local meth)
death penalty
there still buying and selling drugs
cops are being corrupted and people are dying
death penalty makes no difference

in malaysia same thing what the major dealersdo there is recruit ignorant desperate nigerians. they tell them not to worry they have the officials bribed its a sure thing

they get caught then they die
still buying and selling drugs

http://travel.state.gov/travel/livingabroad_drugs.html

Wildalaska
November 19, 2004, 12:43 AM
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Poor baby

Carry a gun whilst doing a drug crime, ce la vie

Free will......

WildformerdefenseattyAlaska

SB88LX
November 19, 2004, 01:07 AM
Yeah everyone can cry for his hanging in this thread, but the dumbass part of it is the bulk of the sentence are the gun "infractions" as mentioned earlier, its an outrage in that respect. <deleted, bad example>

Fletchette
November 19, 2004, 01:22 AM
So, how many of the "hang em high" types here have never, ever commited a crime? Perhaps when you were younger. Drinking and driving? Visiting a brothel back in the service? Having a beer when you were 20? Do some soul searching - you don't have to admit it here.

Now, how would you feel that if you were caught for that crime, your sentence would be increased ten times because you are a gun enthusiast and happened to have a few guns back at home?

deej
November 19, 2004, 01:25 AM
Were THR around during Prohibition (perhaps using avian carriers (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1149)) I wonder how many of us would be calling for the execution of bootleggers.

atek3
November 19, 2004, 01:28 AM
55 years for a gun and some pot... and people here are approving? Sounds the fascism is spreading. I know, why don't we just impose the 'thai solution'...extrajudicial killings of anyone suspected of dealing, that ought to stop the drug problem in its tracks, right? Oh wait... it didn't do anything, except encourage drug gangs to become more armed, more insular, and more deadly. Great solution.

Were THR around during Prohibition (perhaps using avian carriers) I wonder how many of us would be calling for the execution of bootleggers.

good one deej. but of course the fascists will say, "thats totally different", "drugs are bad, mmmmkay". Amazing how some people's critical faculties completely shut off when words like, 'drug', 'god', 'gay', 'freedom', and 'gun' are mentioned.

atek3

FeebMaster
November 19, 2004, 01:44 AM
Were THR around during Prohibition (perhaps using avian carriers (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1149)) I wonder how many of us would be calling for the execution of bootleggers.

What's to wonder? Do you think those calling for the deaths of drug dealers now would have been more reasonable back in the good old days?

The Grand Inquisitor
November 19, 2004, 01:59 AM
Good to see all the warhawks here calling for blood.

Imagine if this were your son, he made mistakes, but do those mistakes justify ruining this man's life, condemning him to a life of torture at the hands of beasts in prison and ignored by the "guards" who allow prisoners to brutalize on another.

Now, EVERYONE, who is happy to send this man to his death in prison, imagine this was YOU.

Perhaps you were coming home from the range one day and on your way home, you were pulled over for speeding. When the cop comes to your window and he notices the rifle bag in your back seat is unzipped and he sees your AR or AK and decides that you are improperly transporting firearms. He pulls you out of the car and goes through your vehicle and finds about 3 or 4 guns and a thousand rounds of ammunition. Officer Joe decides that your guns are dangerous and because he pulled you over across the street from a grade school, he now puts the handcuffs on you.

You're being charged with improperly transporting firearms and for having "assualt weapons" within 3 miles of a school. You obviously think this is bull????? and you try to turn around and tell the cop what you think about this and he decides your turning around is you trying to get away, and now he decides to wrestle you to the ground and charges you with resisting arrest.


When you get your day in court you get stuck with a 25 year mandatory minimum sentance because your state decided that anyone who commits a firearms related crime near a school MUST recieve at least 25 years in prison.

Your 7 year old son is going to be 32 when you are released. Your lovely 32 year old wife is going to 57 when you are released. Your 65 year old parents will most likely pass away while you are wasting away in prison.

Ripping away a quarter or half ( or more!) of a mans life because he made one mistake and came across a cop who wanted bust you for having guns is cruel and absolutely illogical.

Of course not everyone who goes to prison is innocent of what they did or remorseful for that matter, but when it comes down to it, prisons are not there to *punish* people, but rather to *rehabilitate* them to allow them to serve their time, and then to re-enter society as a productive citizen.


Don't be so sure to damn everyone to hell who commits some wrong doing, because you never know what tommarow will hold - you could end up in a similar situation before you know it.

Double Naught Spy
November 19, 2004, 07:16 AM
The original thread title and post really don't do the case justice, pardon the puns. The guy was NOT a first time offender, just a first timer caught. While it was his first time caught, he had multiple charges against him.

Grand Inquisitor, you are a funny person. You are suggesting that we impose lighter sentences because we may end up being the folks getting found guilty of a crime somewhere around the road. Or maybe it is our loved one. Is that right? Boo hoo hoo. Consequences may suck, but they are the consequences. It isn't as if the drug dealer gun carrier thought he was helping disabled children by doing what he was doing. He darned sure knew what he was doing was against the law and was dumb enough to get caught.

Also, the guy isn't going to jail for making a mistake. To suggest it was a mistake is to suggest that he made a decision that he didn't know was wrong. It isn't a mistake if you know what you are doing is wrong. This guy didn't make a mistake and it wasn't his only crime.

And for the record, I am imagining the poor guy going to prison is me, but only from a little earlier in life before started committing felonies and I am thinking to myself, is getting caught and going to jail or maybe getting killed over drugs really what I want to risk? No, I don't think so. And there you have it and I am sitting here today, NOT IN JAIL. Why would you even suggest that we put ourselves in this guy's place and consider the consequences and the horrors of not seeing a son grow up or whatever? Why must we worry about the consequences when the scumbag drug dealers don't? I refuse to feel sorry for such people. I like tough laws. If folks can't understand that their are consequences for what they do, then maybe they don't belong in our society.

sigmaman
November 19, 2004, 08:55 AM
he is sentenced to 8 years in prison AND and addtitional 55 years in prison for the gun charges
all you hang em high guys i sincerly hope you do something and they pile on the sentence like they did to mr angelos
the guns had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with his crime but you all advocate putting him away for ever
this "drug" dealers clients were musicians weldon angelos was also a record producer he wasnt hanging out at the local elemntary school forcing kids to smoke the EVIL weed
8 years might be just but the additional 55 years is just pure crap

JohnBT
November 19, 2004, 09:07 AM
I just found some interesting info on rapnewsdirect thanks to Google...

"Angelos is charged with 20 counts of distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm with a removed serial number, money laundering and for using a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 135 years behind bars if convicted on all charges.

In addition to prison time, federal authorities are seeking to seize property they claim Angelos obtained through his alleged criminal activity or used in a crime, including a 1993 BMW, a 2001 Lexus, about $40,000 in cash, five handguns and a rifle."



The plot thickens... "possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm with a removed serial number".

John

George S.
November 19, 2004, 11:10 AM
Drug dealing is bad enough. Clearly he was in this big-time otherwise there would have been no need for guns. Selling an ounce of pot to your buddy is one thing but this clearly is in the "trafficking" area. Criminals at this level would have little regard for human life if somebody got in their way. We read about in the papers all the time.

sigmaman. I have to disagree with you. Given the quantity of drugs that ere involved, racketeering and all the other thing, simply means that guns were a way of life in that world. He may never have actually used a gun during commisions of the crimes, but you can bet he would have not thought twice about using the guns if there was any inkling of soemthing goind bad.

And it doesn't make any difference to me what line of work he was in. He was a drug dealer. Even without knowing much about the Rap or Hip-Hop world, the content of the music and the perceived attitude of some people in that industry are not helping young people to understand that drugs, crime, violence and anti-social behavior are not the road to take.

Too bad he got 55 years. This is one case where a Federal law has some reason behind it. Probably should have gotten a life term.

flatrock
November 19, 2004, 12:18 PM
Punish people for the crimes they commit.

Carrying a firearm isn't a crime, it's a right.

Using a firearm in a criminal act is worthy of a stricter sentence.

Possession of a firearm is a constitutional right.

I'm not supporting drug dealing. However, stupid laws lead to situation where parents are afraid to keep a gun in their house because they know their kid isn't clean, but can't control him. If he gets caught dealing pot it's a rather minor crime. If he gets caught dealing pot and there's guns in the house he spends his life in jail.

I do know some people who have dealt drugs. They basically sold them to friends who shared their habbits to support their own habbit.

One of those still lived in his parents house, and his father owned a considerable collection of guns.

Did that person deserve to go to jail for selling a little weed? Sure he did, but not for 50+ years.

Edit: He never did go to jail, but did get put in rehab after his parrents called the police on him. Didn't help. I still keep in touch from time to time. He still smokes weed, but at least has quit drinking alcohol. He quit a bit late though, and I doubt that he'll live past 40 with all the damage he did to himself from drinking.

Beren
November 19, 2004, 12:27 PM
First, let me apologize for having helped spark this into Yet Another Thread About The War On Some Drugs. Flyboy said all there really is to say about the subject, and I highly recommend all of you who promote prohibition go back and read his posts with an open mind. Now on to my comments:

He was a drug dealer.

So what? You say that as though it carries the same impact as "he was a child rapist" or "he betrayed his country during a time of war" or "he murdered his wife."

He was a drug dealer. He sold a plant derivative to others who willingly desired to purchase and consume it. He didn't slam his customers to the floor, put a gun to their head, and demand that they take the pot and give him some money in return.

No harm was caused, except arguably by the consumer - and that harm was done by himself, to himself, willingly.

I drink. Occasionally, I drink alot. I don't smoke. I don't partake of other drugs. I don't now, and I wouldn't if they were legal. But neither would I stand in the way of a fool who wishes to drug himself, so long as said fool is not causing direct harm to others or expecting me to pay for his habit.

What business is it of mine what another adult ingests, whether it be corn chips, pot, or paint thinner?

artherd
November 19, 2004, 03:12 PM
The punishment does not fit the crime, just another example of 'getting tough on guns'.

I don't think 'gun enhancements' work, it "Oh, I was going to rob this store with a gun, but since that will get me more time, I'll use a machette." in reducing crime.

What we need to do is put VIOLENT OFFENDERS behind bars for a long long time.

12-34hom
November 19, 2004, 03:19 PM
It's all about being willing to take responsibility for one's actions.

This person chose to violate the law & while doing so carried a firearm in the commission of said crimes.

He had little regard for his other family members or law abiding citizens when he chose this path. His intent was simple; to profit & gain from the misfortune of others. While doing said acts he compounded his own misfortunes by carrying a firearm. ie... "for his protection" = B.S. He knew the risks of dealing drugs and the people he had to associate while doing so.

To those who claim it's only pot or it's a victim less crime, ask his kids that as they go through life without their father. Who knows maybe their better off without him or his influence on their up bringing.

Since he was sentenced under federal guidelines he will have to do 85% of time sentenced.

Life's tough when you go through it stupid & stoned.

12-34hom.

Beren
November 19, 2004, 03:43 PM
Don't worry. Give the puritans another twenty years and porn will be illegal. We'll send people to jail - for longer periods of time than we do murder - for selling magazines with nekkid pictures, just like we punish them for selling plants today.

It's for your own good. We can't trust you not to ruin your life through porn addiction.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/11/18/national1907EST0715.DTL&type=printable

sigmaman
November 19, 2004, 03:59 PM
and he was wearing a gun
lets burn him then kill his family
evil marijauna seller
burn burn burn
hell 55 years aint good enough for his ilk
i say kill his dog too
yeah
trying to fit in thr going to get me a pick up trailer home and marry me sister

BTW hey wild alaska
what he did isnt even a crime in alaska

Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes is slowly coming to grips with reality. Befuddled by last month's Alaska Appeals Court ruling legalizing the possession of up to four ounces of pot in the home

buzz_knox
November 19, 2004, 04:42 PM
BTW hey wild alaska
what he did isnt even a crime in alaska

Which is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Beating one's wife isn't illegal in several jurisdictions around the world, but doesn't justify doing so anywhere in the US.

The issue at hand is whether the punishment fits the crime. It's probably excessive for the charges asserted. Given the prior discussion of a plea bargain, the prosecutor probably wanted him to name names and when he refused, made an example out of him.

SLCDave
November 19, 2004, 04:55 PM
He carried a firearm while commiting a felony.
He knew it was illegal.
He had a choice.
He did it anyway.
I bet his neighbors are happy that he's not next door dealing drugs.
I know I would be.

Just because marijuana is a plant, and it's natural, doesn't mean it's fit for consumption. Rattlesnake poisin is natural. Arsenic is natural. Carbon Dioxide is natural too.

Derby FALs
November 19, 2004, 05:02 PM
He got sentenced to one day in jail for the evil drug and money laundering charges. :rolleyes:

flatrock
November 19, 2004, 05:04 PM
12-34hom,

It's all about being willing to take responsibility for one's actions.

No it's not. Taking responsibility for his actions is paying the penalty for selling drugs, which he should pay.

Adding on 55 years for doing so while in possession of a firearm is an unconstitutional attack on his right to keep and bear arms.

A criminal should be punished for their crimes.

Using a gun in the commision of a crime is a crime itself and should be punished. Posessing a gun while commiting a crime shouldn't be a crime.

A person that is commiting crimes that are considered minor crimes can be punished with 30 years in jail if they choose to arm themselves with both a primary and backup gun because they live in a dnagerous neighborhood?

You're saying that by breaking the law you give up your right to defend your life against others who might want to do you harm?

B. S. The right to defend yourself is a right, not a privledge. It's granted to us by our creator, not by law.

Posessing a gun shouldn't be a crime. It's how a weapon is used that can make it a crime, not posessing it.

Justin
November 19, 2004, 05:09 PM
Quite frankly I don't care what chemicals someone else wants to put into their body. What I do care about is the fact that all of the nanny-statist types who've chimed in on this thread openly advocate the abrogation of my civil rights through their clamorous approval of the drug war, even though I am not a user of illegal drugs.

Yet even though the evidence showing that the War On Drugs is an abysmal failure has continued to pile up there are still those who continue to support the same idiotic, wasteful and quite frankly, insane* policies out of some misguided sense of puritanism.

I could maybe understand supporting the WoD if it actually had some proveable effect at markedly reducing the supply of narcotics in this country. But no matter how tight they seal the border, no matter how many armed guards there are or SWAT Teams on standby, no matter how harsh the sentencing, none of it has stopped Johnny the 15 year old wasteoid from getting a dimebag.



*One definition of insanity that gets bandied about is the old saw of "Continuing to do the same thing over and over again, and expecting to get different results." If that isn't the very spitting definition of the War On Drugs, then I don't know what is.

sigmaman
November 19, 2004, 05:28 PM
seem to be rap stars and a police informant

Arrested in 2002 for selling marijuana to an informant - two half-pounds at $350 each - Angelos faced more than 55 years in prison without parole because of three gun charges, including an accusation that he had a concealed handgun in an ankle holster.

should be given an additional 50 years for selling to rap stars

wow i thought gun owners relly believed in liberty

Flyboy
November 19, 2004, 06:46 PM
To those who claim it's only pot or it's a victim less crime, ask his kids that as they go through life without their father.

And how, exactly, does him selling marijuana necessarily and directly lead to his kids being stripped of their father?

Sounds like the crime here is the perversion of "justice," and the perpetrators draw their pay from Uncle Sam.

Further, as several others have pointed out, it's not the sale of drugs that got him half a century in the lockup; it's the fact that he had a piece of steel in an "evil" shape. He didn't use it, or even brandish it (assumed, from the lack of charges on that point); he merely posessed it.

Who knows maybe their [sic] better off without him or his influence on their up bringing.

More than likely not, but that's a low blow in any case, and one on which you can't possibly have an informed opinion unless you've a lot of information we don't. Uninformed personal attacks don't help anything; neither does demonizing "the enemy."

PCRCCW
November 19, 2004, 06:56 PM
Hey guys....what very little people know is this guy was offered 4 plea deals before he went to trial! Ranging from 16 to 25 years in all.....he turned them down. He's not an angel....he had a hell of a history before this happened.

I dont agree with the sentencing either.........neither did the judge but his hands were tied. It was up to him to take the plea or go to trial.......he picked wrong!

Shoot well..................

DRZinn
November 19, 2004, 07:01 PM
I feel so safe now that he's off the street.

Grey54956
November 19, 2004, 07:14 PM
How 'bout 55 lashes instead, or 55 days in the stocks.

The problem with 55 years is that it is a tremendous waste of his life, but more improtantly our tax money. When all is said and done it will probably cost about $30,000 per year to incarcerate this man. That's 1.6 million dollars over the course of 55 years, not taking time value of money into the equation...

Yes, he broke laws, but perhaps a swift, painful punishment will convince him of the error of his ways rather than a slow, costly jail sentence.

Frankly, the whole idea of plea-bargaining is utter horse******** as well. Let justice be fair and absolute. No deals, bargains, sales on justice, thank you. Let's everyone have their day in court.

Faithless
November 19, 2004, 07:19 PM
Govt won't legalise because:

a) Drugs are more profitable illegal = can fund more Iran / Contra's.

b) Enforcing drug laws = big brother via the back door

12-34hom
November 19, 2004, 07:20 PM
Possessing a gun while committing a crime shouldn't be a crime.

Fact is, weapon possession while used in the commission of a felony is used as an enhancement under sentencing guidelines. Just because the weapon he was armed with was not used; his intent by carrying said weapon implies that he was willing to use it.

You're saying that by breaking the lawyou give up the right to defend your life against others who might want to do you harm?

If you're committing a felony, then yes; you have no right to armed with a firearm of any type. He put him self at risk and others while in commission of this crime. He knew the risks, him being armed proves this fact.

12-34hom.

Fletchette
November 19, 2004, 07:38 PM
Fact is, weapon possession while used in the commission of a felony is used as an enhancement under sentencing guidelines. Just because the weapon he was armed with was not used; his intent by carrying said weapon implies that he was willing to use it.

What!?! Then you should be put in prison because you have guns, which implies that you are willing to use it.

You need two things to commit a "crime":

a) you must actually perform said action (otherwise the government could throw people in prison for "thought" crimes)

b) You must have "intent" (you must know what you are doing is wrong but do it anyway. This prevents people from being convicted of actions they honestly thought were legal).

The cited example violates both concepts, for a): he did not do anything with the gun that hurt anyone. For b) Merely owning a gun is not a "crime", and its ownership is not "intent" to commit a crime.

As for "enhancements": what if they passed a law outlawing sneakers? Just about every drug dealer wears sneakers, it would be the perfect "enhancement". Is that a good idea?

Radical concept: lets punish criminals for the crime they actually commit, rather than making elabrate webs of laws that ultimately ensnare average citizens.

hammer4nc
November 19, 2004, 08:49 PM
grey posted:The problem with 55 years is that it is a tremendous waste of his life, but more improtantly our tax money. When all is said and done it will probably cost about $30,000 per year to incarcerate this man. That's 1.6 million dollars over the course of 55 years, not taking time value of money into the equation...

And it bears repeating. Please, all those who advocate "throwing away the key", please reconsider this position on purely economic grounds...do you really think its how you want your tax money spent?

As to the LEO's who invariably advocate these sentencing enhancements...can there ever be a case where a sentence is overly harsh? Or, should we just assume you're in favor of anything that makes law enforcement a growth industry? As one article explained:

In addition to prison time, federal authorities are seeking to seize property they claim Angelos obtained through his alleged criminal activity or used in a crime, including a 1993 BMW, a 2001 Lexus, about $40,000 in cash, five handguns and a rifle."

How much of this booty gets routed back to the LE agency? "Yeah, baby...gotta love the WOD!" [/honest citizen shakes head]

Linux&Gun Guy
November 19, 2004, 09:26 PM
Its interesting to see that most of the 'old folks'(long time members) don't like this but some of the new hot heads are all for destroying a mans life over dried plants and guns.

I know 4 drug dealers and am good friends with one of them. Hes a great guy and a good friend in addition to being a good dealer. Hes friendly to everyone and helps out newbies all the time. He also treats random people with respect(not just people he sells to).

All you people talking about the evil Drug Dealer should rethink; where else would people get drugs without dealers?

jefnvk
November 19, 2004, 10:24 PM
I'm not going to comment on whether drugs should be legal.

This man did break a law. Drug dealing is against the law, last time I checked. Unless he was brain dead, he knew that what he was doing was illegal. In comitting this crime, he was wearing firearms. While this may be more of an area in that he didn't know that having firearms while comitting a crime leads to a harsher penalty, he probably should have.

We have minimum sentance laws set up so that one person cannot be punished less harshly then another, for the same crime. He broke the law, there is a set standard for breaking the law, he was held to the set standard.

Please note that I am not advocating that this law is right. If he thinks that this law is not right, simply ignoring it is not the way to go. Doing anything you can to fix it is the right way to do it. Until then, if you don't follow the rules, you should expect to get penalized.

And I apply this fairly to anything. If guns were outlawed tomorrow, if I did not come into compliance, I would expect to be caught and incarcerated. That is the way things work. Do I think that that situtation would be right? No. If I choose to keep my guns, then by doing so I would accept any punishment that should be given to me.

In wearing the firearm while comitting the crime, this man was also accepting the punishment.

Don't break laws. Fix them.

Fletchette
November 20, 2004, 01:22 AM
Don't break laws. Fix them.

Tell that to Rosa Parks.

Sergeant Bob
November 20, 2004, 02:02 AM
Don't break laws. Fix them.

I keep hearing that all the time. How do you propose to fix them?
How many laws have you "fixed"?
Even if we "fix" one law, ten more get passed while we're fixing one.

It matters not whether a law is Constitutional or not, the courts and the legislature use the "Supreme Law of the Land" as a doormat.

The NRA, GOA, SAF, etc, etc, have millions of members among them and how many laws have they succeeded in actually "fixing"?
NFA '34...nope.
GCA '68 (IIRC)...nope.
FOPA '86...nope.
AWB '94...nope, sunsetted.
CCW?....nope, didn't fix any laws, just passed some more.

So many people run around saying catchy little phrases like "Molon Labe" and "From my cold, dead hands". Yet when someone breaks a law (Constitutional or not) that happens to agree with their own personal views they're all for locking them up and throwing away the key (until the door is closing on them).

Molon Labe indeed.

sigmaman
November 20, 2004, 03:30 AM
man i had some stuff to say
but i have grown tired of this board
doesnt seem like people have an open mind to opposing view points
and you uber patriots are actually starting to sound like what was that phrase oh yeah
jack booted thugs
i learned of DU from you guys so i went over there and started looking
a lot of people here are the identical polar opposite as those on the DU forum
so sorry to be you

Chris Rhines
November 20, 2004, 07:39 AM
This is, of course, a travesty of justice.

This man committed no crime, not in a moral sense. No one was coerced, no one was harmed, no one had their property stolen.

He sold a product to people who were more than willing to buy it. Why should this be illegal?
He carried a firearm to protect himself while dealing in fairly large quantities of cash. Why should that be illegal?
He declined to make his voluntary tax contribution on the money that he earned, and structured his finances to so allow. Why should this be illegal?

Somebody explain it to me. :confused:

- Chris

tyme
November 20, 2004, 08:46 AM
It doesn't look like any of the anti-drug hawks have commented on JohnBT's find:
"Cassell noted that the same day he sentenced Angelos, he gave 22 years to a man convicted of beating an old woman to death with a log."
Does an armed drug dealer deserve 2.5 times the sentence given for murder of a senior citizen?

Art Eatman
November 20, 2004, 10:20 AM
tyme, I've watched disparities in sentencing for a long, long time. I've often wondered why the comparative harshness for possession of a banned item, as opposed to physical crimes against persons.

The only answer that seems to fit is that the worse case in the eyes of government is disagreeing with the edicts of government. "Merely" killing an individual citizen is not nearly as evil as believing that government could be wrong in restricting certain activities which are harmful only to the actor.

Art

tyme
November 20, 2004, 01:12 PM
Well, murder is also a disagreement with a government edict - thou shalt not murder.

I'm not convinced that those in government consciously engineer those sentences to be on par with the worst violent crimes sentences. I don't think very many people in government are malicious.

It seems that the cretins who write these minimum sentencing guidelines lose all perspective when they sit around all day discussing what the minimum sentence should be for possessing a handgun while dealing drugs. A 25-year minimum sentence for each additional gun is on par with one additional murder sentence, which often run 25-to-life. Did anyone think about that when they drafted the guidelines? I doubt it.

Insulated discussions about anything result in loss of perspective and the results are often horrific. In this case, those results determine the fate of people's lives. No wonder crime has risen and people are losing respect for the law in droves.

Wildalaska
November 20, 2004, 02:10 PM
what he did isnt even a crime in alaska

Au contraire, it sure is...Alaska law decriminilaizes the PERSONAL POSESSESION o f small amounts of weed for personal use..

Not selling it armed...read the indictment oif this guy...hes not an innnocent teenager,,,he was a hard core drug felon

WilddonttwistthefactsAlaska

sigmaman
November 20, 2004, 02:34 PM
personal possession = 4 ounces
thats a quarter pound!

Ian
November 20, 2004, 03:26 PM
Reading this thread should put to rest any doubts about the actual value that Republicans put on freedom. Not just the nationally elected ones either, but the rank and file membership.

So many people have jumped on the justification that somehow personal responsibility obliges one to do whatever they're told to. You guys are ignoring the fact that government has no moral or constitutional authority to punish a person for using drugs, selling drugs, carrying a gun, destroying the serial number on a gun, evading an income tax, or keeping guns at home. If the guy had a stolen gun, yeah, he should be obligated to make restitution to its rightful owner. But that's the extent of what he actually may have done wrong in this case.

If I put a gun to your head and threaten to kill you for your wallet, does "responsibility for your actions" obligate you to fork over the wallet? Does it justify me shooting you, since you clearly knew the consequences of refusing my demand?

Clearly not.

That's exactly what government is doing when it passes these laws, though. There's no moral obligation to obey an unjust demand made under threat of force. If anything, there may be a moral obligation to disobey such a demand, to prevent the party making the demand from believing they can get away with such action in the future.

tyme
November 20, 2004, 04:33 PM
he was a hard core drug felon
Yawn.

I don't think I've ever read any anti-drug republican talk about a soft core drug criminal. They're always hard core drug felons, or something similarly inflamatory.

sigmaman
November 20, 2004, 05:13 PM
he was a hard core drug felon and
he produced rap music
evil evil man lets kill his whole family

12-34hom
November 20, 2004, 09:38 PM
Yet another misunderstood individual who is making a significant contribution to our society by selling drugs to those who could'nt find them without his help.

The goverment - police - and let us not forget the republican party members are unaware of these facts, Mr. Angelo was doing his civic duty by selling drugs.

12-34hom.

FeebMaster
November 20, 2004, 10:22 PM
Yet another misunderstood individual who is making a significant contribution to our society by selling drugs to those who could'nt find them without his help.

The goverment - police - and let us not forget the republican party members are unaware of these facts, Mr. Angelo was doing his civic duty by selling drugs.

12-34hom.

Nice to see someone getting it. I heartily agree and would go so far as to say Mr. Angelos went far beyond doing some civic duty by selling drugs. Here is a man who is going to spend the better part of his life in prison for carrying a gun while filling the public's demand and making a profit in an over-regulated market. Mr. Angelos is clearly a heroic capitalist.

FNFiveSeven
November 22, 2004, 11:58 AM
All you folks who think he got what he deserved for crimes of possession... just you wait. Wait for the day someone frames you, and let's see your story then. This is all the cop has to say: "Yes your honor... I smelled something funny on his clothes... so I looked in the car... and I found 10 sawed off shotguns and 4 kilos of coke!" And there you'll be, crying your eyes out, wishing you had taken a stance against the police state you helped create. Of course, it will be too late, no one will want to have anything to do with a "scumbag drug dealer".

P.S. SLCDave... what's wrong with carbon dioxide? I find it odd to compare a necessary ingredient for all plant life with rattlesnake poison and arsenic. :confused:

detonics
November 22, 2004, 12:06 PM
thats a extreme example
how about this
you loan your car say to your kid
your kids freinds smoke a joint
leave half of it in your car
your driving going to say the bank with cash afterwards the range
your tail light is out cop pulls you over
finds said half joint
takes you large amount of cash as drug money
looks in trunk takes all your guns that you were going to range with
bare minimun your going to need a lawyer to get your guns and money back
possibly jail time
no matter what your out money

DRZinn
November 22, 2004, 12:54 PM
Mr. Angelos is clearly a heroic capitalist.

Why is is that those without logic on their side must deliberately mistake defense of a principle for idolatry of an individual?

TearsOfRage
November 22, 2004, 01:07 PM
Yep.

The whole point of 'liberty and justice for all' is that it has to apply to people you don't like. Far too many people talk about freedom but are really only for "freedom to be just like me". :banghead:

grnzbra
November 22, 2004, 01:14 PM
Seems to me that judges like him are the reason for mandatory sentences.

WingZero
November 22, 2004, 01:20 PM
Did any of you happen to find out that Angelos had a rap sheet (including assualt and drugs) leading back to a weapons charge in his teen years?
This guy wasn't a model citizen, and as I see it...... one judge just finally had the balls to get this scum bag off the streets.

It never fails to shock me the amount of lax views towards drugs on a pro-RKBA forum.

Joe Demko
November 22, 2004, 01:29 PM
It never fails to shock me the amount of lax views towards drugs on a pro-RKBA forum.

Why? Being a supporter of the RKBA does not constrain one to also be a supporter of substance prohibitions. If you are referring to somebody shooting while under the influence, nobody okayed that in this thread nor do I think you will find anybody at this board who ever suggested it was okay.

Mr. Clark
November 22, 2004, 02:07 PM
It never fails to shock me the amount of lax views towards drugs on a pro-RKBA forum.
Why does it shock you that people who are pro-freedom are consistently pro-freedom?

It shocks me that people don't see the similarities between the arguments for prohibition are the same for alcohol, drugs, and guns. I guess it only matters if it affects the things you do.

FeebMaster
November 22, 2004, 02:17 PM
Mr. Angelos is clearly a heroic capitalist.

Why is is that those without logic on their side must deliberately mistake defense of a principle for idolatry of an individual?

I don't follow you. Perhaps you could point out which side is lacking in logic or which principles are being defended or something like that.

I was also thinking of adding 'and a fine American in the tradition of Sam Adams and John Hancock,' but I didn't want to go too far. Maybe I should have added it though.

detonics
November 22, 2004, 03:13 PM
are glad there not alive they would be doing serious time in club fed
they grew marijauna and they carried guns
the declaration of independence is written on paper made from the weed
and jefferson made numerous references to destroying the male plant to keep the females
you only do this to increase potency

DRZinn
November 22, 2004, 03:20 PM
FeebMaster:

If the sarcasm I saw in your post was only in my head, then I apologize. I can't stand it when someone who sees someone else defending a principle (eg: He shouldn't go to jail for selling drugs or having a gun, since those actions didn't harm anyone.) acts as though the person is defending the individual. (eg: Because you think he shouldn't go to jail for selling drugs, then you must think he's a great guy for selling drugs. He must be your hero.)

So if you weren't being sarcastic, then I think you went a little far. If you were, then stop being disingenuous.

FeebMaster
November 22, 2004, 03:41 PM
FeebMaster:

If the sarcasm I saw in your post was only in my head, then I apologize. I can't stand it when someone who sees someone else defending a principle (eg: He shouldn't go to jail for selling drugs or having a gun, since those actions didn't harm anyone.) acts as though the person is defending the individual. (eg: Because you think he shouldn't go to jail for selling drugs, then you must think he's a great guy for selling drugs. He must be your hero.)

So if you weren't being sarcastic, then I think you went a little far. If you were, then stop being disingenuous.

I responded to someone who clearly was making a sarcastic post "defending" Mr. Angelos and his civic duty to sell drugs. So, while the first sentence of my post was sarcastic and the second was a bit of an exaggeration since I don't believe in civic duties, the rest of it, including my later addition, I meant wholeheartedly and with no sarcasm.

DRZinn
November 22, 2004, 03:45 PM
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call him a hero, but otherwise we pretty much agree.

And you see my point, right?

Linux&Gun Guy
November 22, 2004, 08:46 PM
and jefferson made numerous references to destroying the male plant to keep the females
you only do this to increase potency

You do this so the females can't turn into mothers and fill your bud with nasty headache making seeds - only breeding can increase the amount of THC over many plant generations. Thats why we have great wonderfull tasty strains today like Northern Lights and White Widow

I don't know if the dealer was a hero but he was a dealer - think of him like a shopkeeper exept he has no shop and sells illegal goods like cannabis

detonics
November 22, 2004, 09:10 PM
see below sig

detonics
November 22, 2004, 09:20 PM
seeds

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

seed production takes away palnt resourses in making resins which is where you find the highest concentration of thc
http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannab...ation1.shtml#4d
The timely identification of a male plant is crucial to the success of the harvest. If the weather is exceptional during the time a male starts producing its flowers and you missed seeing the first signs during your last visit, you could wind up with a lot of seeds and little of the fine erb.
and others
The relative potency of male and female plants has been debated for a very long time. Until recently, there was widespread belief that male plants were psychotropically inactive. This belief may have resulted from the frequently noted procedure in India and other Eastern countries of removing male plants from the field before pollination occurs.70, 295,451 This practice was apparently intended to increase the potency of the female plant.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

12-34hom
November 22, 2004, 10:01 PM
I'm looking at the bright side, this hero will have the next 55 years to reflect on his actions while his sorry ass is parked in a federal pen.

12-34hom.

FeebMaster
November 22, 2004, 11:19 PM
And you see my point, right?

No.


I'm looking at the bright side, this hero will have the next 55 years to reflect on his actions while his sorry ass is parked in a federal pen.

You're a beacon of liberty. If only we had fifty million more just like you.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 02:53 AM
I'm looking at the bright side, this hero will have the next 55 years to reflect on his actions while his sorry ass is parked in a federal pen.

I agree! This guy is such a threat to society that we should lock him up for 55 years, maybe longer! In fact, we should parole murders, rapists and those that commit violent crimes in order to make room in prison for guys like this!

(in case you didn't get this either, sarcasm is intended)

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 04:07 AM
I'm looking at the bright side, this hero will have the next 55 years to reflect on his actions while his sorry ass is parked in a federal pen.
55 years is a long time. The way things are going concerning gun rights, you might have the cell next to him one day, put there by the very arguments you used to justify putting him there. The irony will be painful.

12-34hom
November 23, 2004, 09:25 AM
Mr.Clark, The way things are going concerning our gun rights

I've been hearing this tripe for long time now about how my gun rights are going to hell, give it a rest.

As far as sharing a cell with the likes of this person, won't happen. I don't sell dope, or use it or engage in behavior that would place me in a situation like the one originally described.

Life is fine, i don't need to alter my perception of reality with any drug, those that do are in search of their "pipe dreams". They need to be propped up by artificial stimuli. i don't.

What isn't ironic though is that the more drugs you use the farther away your dreams get. Ask any of the professional people on this board who deal with drug abusers & dealers, about how many life's they have seen ruined and families destroyed in that process.

Feebmaster: You're a Beacon of liberty Thanks, i do what i can.

12-34hom.

borderguy
November 23, 2004, 09:57 AM
Cigarettes are legal and kills what 500,000 a year? Including innocent people forced to breat in second-hand smoke.

Alcohol is legal and kills perhaps 100,000+ year, not to mention the innnocent driving.

Sure, let's legalize pot!! People already die from smoking tobacco and drunk driving. Who cares if more die from smoking it or being in the wrong place when a stoned driver happens by!!

The miserable asshat got what he deserved!! Drug dealers perform no usefull service, except perhap when they cap other drug dealers.

What do you want to bet the guy who beat the old lady with a log was involved in drugs or alcohol?

To equate gun rights with drug use is moronic at best. You right to use drugs isn't specified under the Constitution.

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 10:05 AM
I've been hearing this tripe for long time now about how my gun rights are going to hell, give it a rest. As far as sharing a cell with the likes of this person, won't happen. I don't sell dope, or use it or engage in behavior that would place me in a situation like the one originally described.

You are arguing for the ability punish this man for committing no actual harm to any one. I'm not talking about what he has done in the past, but what he is in jail for now. He didn't hurt any one. He simply lives a life you don't want him to live. He does things you don't want him to do. He posses things that you don't like and sells them to other people who want them. If you don't see how laws based on that kind of attitude can come back to bite you in the ass, you're blind. It's not about the drugs.

nero45acp
November 23, 2004, 10:08 AM
I don't use or deal drugs. However, if I did, knowing what penalties awaited me should I be apprehended and convicted, I would do EVERYTHING in my power to ensure that I wasn't brought in alive. If that meant that I was left face down in the street lying next to a Jane or Johnny law, so be it.


nero

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 10:11 AM
What do you want to bet the guy who beat the old lady with a log was involved in drugs or alcohol?
What do you want to bet the next guy kills a bunch of people does so with a gun? Was a gun nut? Care to make any unwarranted generalizations about that?

To equate gun rights with drug use is moronic at best. You right to use drugs isn't specified under the Constitution.
Read the ninth and tenth amendments again. Come back when you know what you are talking about.

borderguy
November 23, 2004, 10:55 AM
Read the ninth and tenth amendments again. Come back when you know what you are talking about.

Show me what I don't know. Prove the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights provides for drug use. Rather than wrapping yourself in the blanket of percieved knowlege and condescending to everyone else. Prove it! You're great at obtuse generalizations, when it suits you, but where is the proof?

What do you want to bet the guy who beat the old lady with a log was involved in drugs or alcohol?

Google is your friend. Check it out yourself. The facts speak for themself.

What do you want to bet the next guy kills a bunch of people does so with a gun? Was a gun nut? Care to make any unwarranted generalizations about that?

Nope, It's amazingly irrelevent to this dicussion.

Mr. Clark
November 23, 2004, 11:18 AM
[Amendment IX]
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
[Amendment X]
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Why was a constitutional amendment needed to ban alcohol?

Because the ninth amendment gives people the right to drink alcohol - and take drugs and all of the other things that they do that harm no one but themselves. The bill of rights is not the complete list of the rights of man.

Because the tenth amendment says that if the constitution doesn't give the federal government the power to do something then it doesn't have the power to do it. It doesn't say it can ban alcohol or drugs, so it can't. This was obvious in 1917 when the amendment was proposed and in 1919 when it was approved. Without the amendment the Supreme Court (whose members actually read the constitution back then) would have struck down any law that attempted to ban alcohol as unconstitutional. What has changed since then? Nothing.

Discussing freedom with freepers is like discussing responsibility with hippies. It's a foreign concept that they just don't get.

Beren
November 23, 2004, 11:24 AM
I believe what our Constitutional friend was referring to was this:

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

=====

Just because a right isn't listed in the Constitution does not mean it doesn't exist. You have a /right/ to screw up your body any darn way you please, sad as your actions might be, so long as it causes no direct harm to others. You are /free/ to drink yourself to death, so long as you don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle while you're intoxicated.

You should be free to snort yourself into the grave at age 21 if that's what you choose to do, and again, so long as you do not harm others in the process.

It's YOUR choice to make, not mine, and the force of law should not be used to limit choices which, while they cause no harm to others, I personally disapprove of on moral or humanitarian grounds.

Can anyone here say with a straight face that heroin or pot is more capable of ruining a man's life than alcohol? And if alcohol is legal, why not pot or heroin? Why do we have a war on only /SOME/ mind-altering substances which have no concrete medical purpose, and not /ALL/ of them?

The War on Some Drugs is one of the largest contributors to the decay of our society and the erosion of our civil liberties. It is a massive employment program for those who otherwise would need to find some way to actually contribute something meaningful to society. It is a case in which the "cure" is ineffective - if I want them, drugs are easily available in most communities - and much more harmful to society than the "disease" itself. The WoSD funds violent criminals and promotes a wide disrespect for the law while at the same time encouraging public corruption - what a deal!

Want to save lives? Take those billions wasted on the WoSD and invest them in basic medical research. Those billions would do wonders for advancing our ability to treat cancer, AIDS, or the next generation of AB-resistant bugs. (Oh, but wait. Some here probably agree that AIDS is God's just punishment for engaging in homosexual behavior.)

======

Oh, and just to try and keep myself somewhat related to the actual thread - and I do apologize for setting a bad example of "thread drift:"

How do you morally justify sending someone to prison for /55 years/ over a drug charge, when people who commit violent assaults typically receive half that time or less?

DRZinn
November 23, 2004, 11:56 AM
You [sic] right to use drugs isn't specified under the Constitution.
Guess what - I DON'T CARE. Just like I don't care if they meant an individual RKBA or a collective right exercised by the militia. I simply have a basic human right to defend myself, therefore I have the RKBA.

Whether it's in the Constitution or not, I have a right to do ANYTHING I CHOOSE as long as it harms no-one else.

12-34hom
November 23, 2004, 01:55 PM
Mr. Clark, his intent was specific. He was armed, in the commission of a felony.

Do really believe that he was armed for kicks & giggles, or that if something had gone wrong while he dealt with whomever for the sale of his drugs - he would have not used or employed deadly force to extricate himself and his drugs?

Harming no one? From personal experience over the last 7 years dealing with drug dealers & abusers of all types of drugs [controlled & otherwise] from a peace officers standpoint, has shown me the folly of you're statement.

It's not about drugs? wrong -it's about choice of lifestyle. This subject chose his path because of his other choices concerning his drug usage and or dealings or both. He lost his individuality when he lost himself in the drug culture.

Now he is a statistic. Another predator off the streets.

12-34hom.

Linux&Gun Guy
November 23, 2004, 03:52 PM
Sure, let's legalize pot!! People already die from smoking tobacco and drunk driving. Who cares if more die from smoking it or being in the wrong place when a stoned driver happens by!!


No one has ever died from cannabis - try again

Have you ever been high? Have you ever seen a stoned driver?

Didn't think so. In general someone thats high tries to avoid driving and if they are they drive very slowly and carefully(sometimes too slow for the road)

Im not saying its a good idea but I would much rather be in the car of a stoner then a drunk

cannabis != ethanol in effects be they mental, physical or otherwise

DRZinn
November 23, 2004, 04:09 PM
Do really believe that he was armed for kicks & giggles, or that if something had gone wrong while he dealt with whomever for the sale of his <guns> - he would have not used or employed deadly force to extricate himself and his <guns>?

Note the clever use of one potentially dangerous product in place of another..

falconer
November 23, 2004, 04:48 PM
For those of you that think the 55 year sentence is a good thing, go take a few criminal justice or peneology classes at your local college. Then you just might be able to post an intelligent response. Mandatory Mins are generally a bad idea, they cause prison overcrowding and often disparity in sentencing. Check your local papers and see if there is an article about someone being setenced for murder and getting LESS than 55 years. You folks do realize that the prison system is often forced to release violent criminals in order to make room for MM drug sentences? Go read the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and see for yourself how screwed up the system is. I worked in the Federal Court System while in college and got to see it myself first hand.

These guidelines need to be changed to something that resembles punishment fitting the crime.

Note: I am not saying he's a first time offender, nor do I believe he shouldn't be in jail because of some wacko Libertarian ideal. I'm saying the Sentencing Guidelines go overboard in many areas, often due to Mandatory Minimums.

Fletchette
November 23, 2004, 06:06 PM
You folks do realize that the prison system is often forced to release violent criminals in order to make room for MM drug sentences?

I do, I pointed it out. Seems to have been ignored.

My arguement against such a harsh sentence should not be construed as an arguement for legalizing drugs (that's another issue). My arguement is that keeping and bearing an arm is a right and not a crime, therefore if someone exercises his right as he commits the crime he should NOT be punished more harshly than someone who commits the same crime without excercising that right.

Imagine if the judge gave him 1 year for drug dealing and 54 years for speaking while drug dealing. Does that make sense?

12-34hom
November 23, 2004, 06:11 PM
Linux, yes i have seen - stopped and field tested numerous drivers impaired on Cannabis.

There sense of time is altered, hence the reaction time is impaired, depth perception is impaired, your attention span while driving is less after using cannabis.

Driving a car is a divided attention action, requiring the driver to perform several tasks at once, not something one wants an impaired driver to try and perform, either on alcohol or other controlled substances. There was a case in Cedar Rapids, Ia as of late - where a driver ran down a female pedestrian and killed her, after his arrest - he tested positive for Cannabis. He now awaits trial on vehicular homicide charges.

So, lets not try to fool each other about how marijuana and other cannabis derivatives are harmless. Dopers i've met were always trying to validate their reasons for getting stoned. It's a form of self deception, trying to justify their actions to them selfs and other willing to listen and believe.

Misery loves company.

12-34hom.

Beren
November 23, 2004, 08:25 PM
So, lets not try to fool each other about how marijuana and other cannabis derivatives are harmless.

I agree. Instead, let's continue to fool ourselves that somehow "pot is bad", "booze is good", and "drug dealers should server longer jail terms than child rapists."

Ian
November 23, 2004, 09:22 PM
Do really believe that he was armed for kicks & giggles, or that if something had gone wrong while he dealt with whomever for the sale of his drugs - he would have not used or employed deadly force to extricate himself and his drugs?

What are you talking about? So what if he was willing to use the gun if he needed it? That's the whole point of carrying a gun, you know that! Cash and marijuana make one a attractive target for muggers, I would expect - and despite what some might prefer, assault on a person carrying a narcotic is still assault, and defending against it is perfectly legal and moral.

What about those shady gun dealers who carry a gun? Should we be upset that they might be willing to use it in case one of their deals goes bad?

Sindawe
November 23, 2004, 11:04 PM
12-34hom said:
There was a case in Cedar Rapids, Ia as of late - where a driver ran down a female pedestrian and killed her, after his arrest - he tested positive for Cannabis. He now awaits trial on vehicular homicide charges.

I have to ask when the test materials (blood, urine, etc...) were taken from the driver. To the best of my knowledge, if it was not blood taken right with in a few hours, the positive result means squat as it pertains to his impermanent at the time of running down the pedestrian. I know courts differ on this, but the courts are forums of law, not of fact. Was the result quantified, or just qualitatively determined? The metabolites of Cannabis sp. consumption can be found in the urine of one who uses plant for weeks after consumption has stopped, with detectable levels dropping over time.

There sense of time is altered, hence the reaction time is impaired, depth perception is impaired, your attention span while driving is less after using cannabis.

Not according to the studies I've seen, such as
this one, (http://mojo.calyx.net/~olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha01206.html) this one (http://www.idmu.co.uk/candrivab.htm) and one done by the California Highway Patrol years ago that reached the same conclusions. As others have noted, drivers who are under the influence of THC alone are more cautious and focused drivers and as a whole have fewer accidents than drivers who are under the normal distractions that occur while driving.

Your first hand experiences and perceptions likely differ 12-34hom, but I expect that since I doubt you pull over all the folks who are driving about while stoned. I don't condone such, any more than I condone driving about while exhausted and sleep deprived. I would like to know more about the methodology you use to field test drivers for suspicion of Cannabis intoxication.

As far as the chap who is now serving 55 years in prison for exercising his God given/inherent right to possess the means and tools of self defense. His sentence is a grave miscarriage of justice. Keeping and bearing arms is a protected right, and "...shall not be infringed." means exactly that, and does NOT mean "except while possing this common weed, etc, etc, etc..."

But I'd best stop before this turns into a rant about our entire Judicial System.

Fletchette
November 24, 2004, 01:38 AM
Harming no one? From personal experience over the last 7 years dealing with drug dealers & abusers of all types of drugs [controlled & otherwise] from a peace officers standpoint, has shown me the folly of you're statement.

It's amazing that some police officers seem to think that they have a better viewpoint on society when we live in the same society they do. I know police officers that are consistantly pro-liberty, and I have met police officers that would happily arrest someone for wearing blue-jeans if they were outlawed.

Now he is a statistic.

The problem here is that you seem to think that everbody is a "statistic"; criminals and potential criminals. "Us" vs "them".

Another predator off the streets.

Preditor?!? Who was the victim?
:confused:

I'll ask it again:

Imagine if the judge gave him 1 year for drug dealing and 54 years for speaking while drug dealing. Does that make sense?

12-34hom
November 24, 2004, 10:45 AM
Sindawe, The in state of Iowa, Implied consent procedures require that a sample is taken within 2 hours of arrest or PBT results.

In the case of a personal injury or fatality accident the statute does not impose a two hour time limit under implied consent. The omission of the time limit in PI or fatal accidents bears a rational relationship to a legitimate state interest: the need to protect the heath and safety of persons involved in accidents resulting in death or injury. Therefore it does not deny the defendant equal protection. [ State vs. Martin 383 N.W.2d 556 {Iowa}

I don't know what kind of sample was taken in this case, so i won't speculate.

As far as my Field tests go, Overall demeanor of person I'm speaking with, speech patterns, check eye conditions, bloodshot, watery, dilated pupils, Odors, the smell of cannabis is is strong coming off a person who recently smoked it. I will ask if the person if they have been smoking . There's a eye test called "Convergence". that i can follow up with if necessary. Then, if i believe they are impaired, i will call in a DRE [drug recognition expert] and have him evaluate this person further The S.O. in the county i live in has a deputy qualified in these procedures; along with several ISP Officers.

Fletchette, My viewpoint on society is no better or worst than anyone Else's, i live in the same society as you just in a different location.

Mr. Angelo turned himself into a statistic, it has nothing to do with Us vs. Them mentality.

As far as your scenario goes; it is ludicrous and has no basis in fact in relationship to what this thread is originally about.

12-34hom.

griz
November 24, 2004, 11:53 AM
He is some of the collateral damage of the war on drugs. I think the cure is worse than the disease.

But what really scares me is the attitude of many here. I'll use a quote from George S as an example
Clearly he was in this big-time otherwise there would have been no need for guns.
Think about that for a second then decide how you would answer if somebody asked why you need a gun.

People love the word freedom but when they find out what it means it scares them. :uhoh:

JohnBT
November 24, 2004, 12:10 PM
"Imagine if the judge gave him 1 year for drug dealing and 54 years for speaking while drug dealing. Does that make sense?"

No. Why would a judge do that? You lost me. I thought we were discussing sentences for breaking the law.

John

Ian
November 24, 2004, 12:15 PM
JohnBT - He probably brought up that scenario because this fellow is getting 50 years specifically for having two guns in his apartment (2 guns at 25 years each), where they had absolutely nothing to do with his selling pot.

Sergeant Bob
November 24, 2004, 12:54 PM
12-34hom There was a case in Cedar Rapids, Ia as of late - where a driver ran down a female pedestrian and killed her, after his arrest - he tested positive for Cannabis. He now awaits trial on vehicular homicide charges.
Was he intoxicated (on pot) at the time? What was his level of intoxication?
Is there a definitive test which can determine the actual level of intoxication of a person, as opposed to one which determines that he has smoked pot sometime within the last two weeks (or whatever in the case of hair samples), or an officer's subjective judgement?

Was he charged and convicted with operating under the influence? If not, what does it have to do with the case? Unless of course he was a truck driver, who can be prosecuted for what he did a week ago, in the case of a fatality accident (including mistakes in addition and subtraction).

SPFDRum
November 24, 2004, 05:10 PM
After reading some of the post here regarding the 55 year sentence, I now know how the anti's carry so much clout.
You have an individual that not only commited 1 felony, but several, and in the pursuit of this crime, he feloniously used a weapon. Now this was in a state that takes misuse of fire arms seriously, and hopes to curb the illeagal use of them with stiff mandetory sentences. He broke the law, got busted, turned down a plea bargin, and recieved the mandated sentence.
Now we have a group here that feels that this was to extreme. To these, I pose this question to you: What will deter more crime, stiff mandetory sentences for using a weapon in the act of commiting a crime, or wailing loudly about our 2nd amendment rights? Are we so blind to actually believe this individual was exercising his 2nd amendment rights, and should be given a lesser sentence?
Bottom line, stay on the right side of the law, no worries, break the law and suffer the consequences. That is unless you feel using a weapon to commit murder and crime is just another expression of the right to keep and bear arms and should be protected by the constitution. To those, get off my side, with that attitude, you are giving the anti's all the ammo they need.

Sindawe
November 24, 2004, 05:47 PM
To these, I pose this question to you: What will deter more crime, stiff mandetory sentences for using a weapon in the act of commiting a crime, or wailing loudly about our 2nd amendment rights? Are we so blind to actually believe this individual was exercising his 2nd amendment rights, and should be given a lesser sentence?

Well, stiff mandatory sentences don't seem to be working squat at keeping the illegal drugs out of the country and people from selling/buying them, now do they?

Bottom line, stay on the right side of the law,...

Tell that to those innocents who have been caught in the web of the law when they've commited no infraction.

SPFDRum
November 24, 2004, 06:54 PM
Well, stiff mandatory sentences don't seem to be working squat at keeping the illegal drugs out of the country and people from selling/buying them, now do they?
I'm not talking about drugs, why, because it has a supply and demand quotent. 100% different than using a physical object with the ability to kill in the pursuit of crime. Comparision of the 2 is possible.

Tell that to those innocents who have been caught in the web of the law when they've commited no infraction.
Well, you make a claim, but I read no evidence or facts to back it up. Do you have any of this, and indicate that this is a crisis?

DRZinn
November 24, 2004, 07:05 PM
and in the pursuit of this crime, he feloniously used a weapon.
That's where you're wrong. He had a weapon on him, and two more at home. JUST HAVING THE GUNS was the basis for the 55-year sentence.

Car Knocker
November 24, 2004, 07:11 PM
SPFDRum,

Did you read the articles?

"You have an individual that not only commited 1 felony, but several, and in the pursuit of this crime, he feloniously used a weapon."

Angelos was in possession of a firearm in that it was strapped to his ankle or in the same apartment. He did not "use" a firearm in the sense that he threatened someone with it, shot someone, etc.

"Now this was in a state that takes misuse of fire arms seriously, and hopes to curb the illeagal use of them with stiff mandetory sentences. "

He was tried and sentenced in federal court, not state court, by the feds.

"He broke the law, got busted, turned down a plea bargin, and recieved the mandated sentence."

Well, not exactly. When he turned down the original plea bargain, the feds went and stacked a whole bunch of additional charges against him and THAT led to the long sentence.

"What will deter more crime, stiff mandetory sentences for using a weapon in the act of commiting a crime,"

He didn't use a weapon.

"stay on the right side of the law, no worries"

Doesn't always work that way. Witness all the people being released from prison because their DNA doesn't match that found on the crime scene. Witness the people shot and killed by police that raid the wrong house.

"break the law and suffer the consequences"

Let's see here: 55 years for three weapons charges (no violence) and 1 DAY for 13 associated drug, weapons and money laundering charges. At a cost of $1,650,000. Yup, that's fair and impartial justice and a wise use of taxpayers money.

Fletchette
November 24, 2004, 07:28 PM
To these, I pose this question to you: What will deter more crime, stiff mandetory sentences for using a weapon in the act of commiting a crime, or wailing loudly about our 2nd amendment rights? Are we so blind to actually believe this individual was exercising his 2nd amendment rights, and should be given a lesser sentence?

I'll answer that.

What we want is justice. And justice includes punishing someone justly. You don't excecute a child that shoplifts a candy bar, do you? The punishment must fit the crime.

I am not advocating legalizing drugs here (that is another issue) but if this guy did commit a crime then his crime must have an appropriate sentence. As far as I am concerned, the only crime is dealing drugs. Possession of firearms (in his apartment no less, not ON him) is not a crime.

So what should a good sentence be for a first offense drug dealer? You seem to think that 55 years is ok. Consider this:


From: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/htiuscdb.pdf
Homicide: Average sentence = 12.4 years. Average time served = 5.9 years.

Rape: Average sentence = 9.8 years. Average time served = 5.4 years.

Sexual Assault: Average sentence = 6 years. Average time served = 2.9 years.

We want JUSTICE! A system that puts a non-violent drug dealer in prison for 55 years on his first offense, yet lets out murders ON AVERAGE in under 6 years is NOT justice.

Sheesh.

:banghead:

Sindawe
November 24, 2004, 07:38 PM
SPFDRum,

On Sept 29, 1999, Denver Swat agents descended on the home of Ishmael Mena. Mr. Mena was the 45 year old father of nine children. He was shot eight times and killed by police in the unannounced raid. No drugs were found. Police had an incorrect address. An equally vicious and unthinkable raid claimed the lie of Revered William, a Black, 75 year old, retired Methodist minister. His elderly wife had gone out to the store. He was sitting quietly near the window, in his sparsely furnished apartment, when Boston Police crashed through the door. Drug agents chased Reverend Williams to his bedroom, shoved him to the floor, and pointed guns at his head-inducing the vomiting and heart attack that killed him. Boston Police Commissioner Paul Evans later admitted that the police raided the wrong apartment. "If that is the case, then there will be an apology" he said. An apology! Since when did an apology raise someone from the dead? Two years later, the city (tax payers) paid a $1 million settlement to Reverend William's widow.

Source: http://www.rense.com/general54/blowyou.htm

I know more about the Mena case since it happened here in Denver. Want more? How about considering one Donald Scott (http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/scott_20010731.html) of California, or landscaper Willie Jones (http://www.geocities.com/rab_cdg1/jones.htm) All these folks were on "...the right side of the law.." as you put it, but still ensnared in that law, and some were killed as a result.

Fletchette
November 27, 2004, 08:28 PM
P.S.

With regard to the DOJ info cited above, it appears that those sentences and times served are for ALL convictions; they appear to include both first-time and mutliple offenders.

This, of course, makes the 55-year sentence even more egregious.

O.F.Fascist
November 27, 2004, 11:31 PM
Wow that sentance is totally wrong.

IMO if I was put on a jury I would never convict someone of dealing drugs or using drugs. These punishments are ridiculous.

If someone commits a violent while conducting business that is one thing and should be punished, however I would not punish someone for taking part in the captialist system that our nation is all about.

On the issue of guns. If someone commits a criminal act and has a gun I dont think it should matter in sentancing unless that person used the weapon to commit the criminal act.

If a drug deal has a weapon I dont see why he should get extra punishment unless he used that weapon unlawfully.

schromf
November 28, 2004, 01:01 AM
During my 10 year stint in the Magic Kingdom ( Saudi Arabia ) there were two laws I agreed with. Mandatory death penalty for drug dealers/trafficking, and child molesters. Justice is swift and by now Mr. Angelos would be playing his next act as the headless horseman. Bonus is its a public execution so all his friends and family get to watch the preperation for his next act. And its not drug out ( excuse the pun ) for the next five to 10 years.

Public execution for crime is a major deterent, make no bones about it.

The Saudi system seems a little brutal, but if defenatly works, and it positively deters crime.

We are a kindler gentler nation, we would rather have the taxpayers support this scumbag for the rest of his life.

GigaBuist:

Show of hands, how many people here calling for the death penalty actually KNOW a drug dealer on a somewhat personal level? I do, and no I'm not a customer or anything. I just know who they are from my younger years.

It really doesn't matter if I know a dealer, if he is a nice guy, or if Charles Mansons mother really loved him. He broke the law, and was sentenced under the laws of this land. Case closed in my book.

I actually think the gun charges are just additional fluff on the governments part. And I am actually sympathic to the case being made for legalization of pot. I am not sympathic to drug dealers, I knew some dealers in high school, 3 come to mind that were all brutely murdered over 25 years ago, all different cases, seperated by about 5 years. I wasn't friends or associates with any of them, but they were missing faces from my highschool yearbook. One of these murders was the sister of one of my classmates, she had a 25 ACP emptied into her face, then was dumped down a mineshaft, her body wasn't found for a couple of months. Another the newspaper said that his body was riddled with bullets, and I know for a fact it was a closed casket funeral, because I know someone who attended. Another seperate case one of the kids my son went to high school was murdered about 1 1/2 years ago, he was selling pot.

I also see drug dealers with guns as the biggest threat to my legal right to own my lawful firearms. Scare enough soccer moms with statistics and the rest of the country will have California's gun laws. The game is afoot as we speak, and I for one don't intend to champion any cause to protect these individuals. They are responsible for their actions and knew the consequences beforehand. Would you feel better about this if the guy was selling crack or herion? Or cutting it with rat poison to maximise his profits and send someone on a oneway trip to the morgue? Meth labs seem to be the drug dejour in my part of the country lately, maybe that poison and carnage would make this a little easier to have a hard nosed attitude. Its the same cycle though just minor little shades of grey.

If you want changes work our legal system for changes, but the law of the jungle in our city streets right now with a nasty mix of drug dealing and murder has to stop. This guy is probably lucky in the long run, as he probably avoided being a statistic in nasty mix of money and drugs.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
November 28, 2004, 08:40 AM
Were THR around during Prohibition (perhaps using avian carriers) I wonder how many of us would be calling for the execution of bootleggers.

Sure, that would have spared us from 75 years of the Kennedy family.

JohnBT
November 28, 2004, 09:00 AM
"Possession of firearms (in his apartment no less, not ON him) is not a crime."

I don't understand. Possessing a stolen gun is a crime. So is possessing a gun with the serial number filed off, ground off or however it got off. Maybe they shouldn't be crimes, but until that day arrives they have a duty to charge him.

John

Mr. Clark
November 28, 2004, 10:51 AM
He broke the law, and was sentenced under the laws of this land. Case closed in my book.
I'll remember you said this.
I also see drug dealers with guns as the biggest threat to my legal right to own my lawful firearms.
Catering to irrational people will not save your guns. It's the surest way to lose them.
but the law of the jungle in our city streets right now with a nasty mix of drug dealing and murder has to stop
Prohibition laws are the reason for the nasty mix. More of the same won't stop it. When was the last time you read about Beer and Rum distributors shooting at each other? It happened often during prohibition, not once since.

We are not a nation of slaves like Saudi Arabia. Our country isn't run by a religious death cult, nor will we tolerate one. Try that sh*t here and you'll have a real drug war on your hands.

schromf
November 28, 2004, 12:42 PM
Prohibition laws are the reason for the nasty mix. More of the same won't stop it. When was the last time you read about Beer and Rum distributors shooting at each other? It happened often during prohibition, not once since.

I was pretty clear, if you beleive pot should be legalized, work the legal system, change the law, tax the hell out of it. No I am not opposed to legal change on this. Hard drugs is a different matter. Heroion, crack and meth have no place in any society and need to be controlled substances.

We are not a nation of slaves like Saudi Arabia. Our country isn't run by a religious death cult, nor will we tolerate one.

That culturally ignorant statement isn't even worth commenting on.

And on the high level when we declared a war on drugs over 30 years ago, in historical perspective we should realise it is a war we currently have lost. If you are interested, Milton Friedman wrote some very good articles on this very subject, the short and sweet of the paper was as long as there are fabulous profits to be made in the drug trade, there will be people willling to take the risk. Figure out how to remove the dollars from the equation and the situation will correct itself. This isn't new material in fact I think its almost 20 years ago. The problem is there currently isn't any plan to correct this part of the equation, and I certainly don't have the answers, particularly when hard drugs is thrown into the mix.

And yes the government has gotten more draconian in their war on drugs. Under current law if this charactor had owned a home the Feds would have siezed his property and be auctioning it off, which I don't agree with either, it borders on constitutional infringement. I do not believe for one minute that allowing our legal system to whittle away at this countries contitutional freedoms in the holy cause of a war on drugs is a wise course. We collectively keep throwing more and more dollars at this, expose law enforcement to daily high risk encounters, with no end game in sight.

But currently as things stand it is what we have, the law is clear, and for those willing to take the risk, the consequences of their actions and disregard for the law can bring long term prison sentences. And make no bones about it this individual was not a casual user, which I for one and several others I expect would take a lot more sympathy on, he was a dealer.

Question I do have is did anyone see when this guy is elegible for parol? Is this a typical sentenced to 55 years that he will actually serve a third of it? I would also like to point out, this guy was offered a plea deal, of 15 years which he rejected. Another bad choice on his part.

I have no sympathy.

Mr. Clark
November 28, 2004, 01:03 PM
There is no difference between the argument to legalize pot and the argument to legalize the hard drugs. The argument is that it is none of your damn business what another human being puts into his own body.

This board grows more unbelievably hypocritical by the minute.

(Art's Grammaw objected.)

Fletchette
November 28, 2004, 01:14 PM
"Possession of firearms (in his apartment no less, not ON him) is not a crime."

I don't understand. Possessing a stolen gun is a crime. So is possessing a gun with the serial number filed off, ground off or however it got off. Maybe they shouldn't be crimes, but until that day arrives they have a duty to charge him.

I didn't see anything about the guns being stolen. Only that two of the guns were in his apartment. Thats 2 x 25 years = 50 years simply for having guns in your place of residence. I think that is completely un-Constitutional.

DRZinn
November 28, 2004, 05:45 PM
So tell me, who did the dealer harm?

The users, you say? So then if I buy a gun and shoot myself, the gun dealer is responsible for that, too?

Same rationale.

JohnBT
November 29, 2004, 08:20 AM
Re: possession of a stolen firearm and one with a removed serial number...

From post #44...

"Angelos is charged with 20 counts of distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm with a removed serial number, money laundering and for using a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 135 years behind bars if convicted on all charges.

In addition to prison time, federal authorities are seeking to seize property they claim Angelos obtained through his alleged criminal activity or used in a crime, including a 1993 BMW, a 2001 Lexus, about $40,000 in cash, five handguns and a rifle."

Fletchette
November 29, 2004, 01:13 PM
I missed the stolen firearms and serial number bit.

...But, I still think the sentence is excessive. How can anyone say that a 55 years sentence for such crimes is just when the average sentence for murder is 12.4 years with time served averaging less than 6 years.

Surely murder is a worse crime than filing off a serial number!

SPFDRum
November 29, 2004, 03:18 PM
...But, I still think the sentence is excessive. How can anyone say that a 55 years sentence for such crimes is just when the average sentence for murder is 12.4 years with time served averaging less than 6 years.

Well then, with that logic, he should have just killed someone...

Keyser Soze
November 29, 2004, 03:51 PM
A point that I don't think has been raised is that while yes IMHO murder is a much more serious offense it is prosecuted (the majority of the time) in State court. State courts have much higher case loads and overcrowded correctional systems. The guns are prosecuted under Federal law where the USA's can pick and chose those solid cases and deal with a prison system that is much less crowded.

So point being unless a murder case has some Federal nexus, it will be handled in the overworked and overcrowded State system. Just the reality of it.

On a side note Utah has been a major participant in DOJ's Project Safe Neighborhoods. The State has referred many repeat offenders (read career criminals) to the PSN Task Force for Federal prosecution. This has resulted in the crooks getting much more time than they would in the State system, removing them from the communities where they were serious problems, and saving the State money by not crowding the local correctional facilities. A side benefit is that is free up the police agencies time time not having to deal with the same offender over and over due to the State Criminal Justice Systems revovling door. The Utah Department of Corrections with the cooperation of the PSN Task Force has an "Exit interview" with all inmates who have done their time, parolees and probationers where they are specifically told the penalties for possessing a firearm.
Does it work? I don't know, but what I can tell you is that every crook and gang banger I have hooked up or shaken down is well aware that in Utah if you are caught with a gun you will be doing time in Club Fed.

KS

tyme
November 29, 2004, 04:40 PM
while yes IMHO murder is a much more serious offense it is prosecuted (the majority of the time) in State court. State courts have much higher case loads and overcrowded correctional systems.
Irrelevant. Compare these two 25-year additions to any other federal crime and they still looks ridiculous.

Federal sentencing guidelines for Murder 2 are 135-168 months for a first offense with no enhancements or priors. That's 11.25 to 14 years, roughly half of what a single gun added to this entrepreneur's sentence.

Even with 13 or more priors (the highest prior offense category), murder 2 (level 33) offenses don't get sentences any longer than 24.5 years. Talk about ridiculous.

source: http://guidelinelaw.com/fsglaw/

Keyser Soze
November 29, 2004, 05:24 PM
Tyme,

Thanks for the quick education. I was unaware that the Federal murder sentencing guidelines were so low in comparision to the firearms enhancements.

KS

Fletchette
November 29, 2004, 05:30 PM
Well then, with that logic, he should have just killed someone...

So, are you agreeing that this doesn't make sense (the exact point I was trying to make)?

Derby FALs
November 29, 2004, 06:17 PM
This board grows more unbelievably hypocritical by the minute.

They want rain but are afraid of thunder or lightning.

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