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Judge's sentence in drug crime: Focus on future instead of prison

It was a stupid move. She knows it, and basically admitted to it in court. But then, a young woman in love does stupid things. Anyone who has been young and in love can remember a decision or two that makes them cringe in retrospect. Unfortunately, this young woman's decision could have cost her decades behind bars.

A few points of clarification: the woman did not hurt anyone. She did not steal from anyone. She did not cheat or lie. What did she do? She took a trip to visit family in Jamaica. She agreed to pick up a suitcase for her boyfriend and friends during her visit and bring it home.

Unfortunately, that suitcase was filled with drugs. It is very likely that the young woman would be unaware of this, as the drugs were within the handles of the luggage.

The charges were serious. Not only did she possess over a pound of cocaine, but she brought it over the border. She essentially imported the illegal drug into the United States.

What's a girl to do? If she's smart, she hires a good criminal defense attorney.

A piece in The New Yorker covered this case. Although it does not mention whether the attorney hired did the case justice, it notes that she was found guilty of multiple charges related to this incident.

More importantly, the piece focuses on the judge. The judge used this case as an opportunity to make a statement about our country's sentencing system when it comes to drug crimes.

Essentially, he makes it clear that the sentencing system is wrong. He makes it clear that we need to move away from long prison sentences and towards rehabilitation for non-violent drug offenses.

This case provided an excellent springboard for the conversation. The young woman had a history of counseling young children and is completing her studies in sociology at the Southern Connecticut State University. She does not have a criminal history.

The judge could have sentenced her for over three years of prison time. Instead, he gave her a year of probation. However, this sentence was given with conditions. First, she is required to spend six months of probation in home confinement. Second, she most provides one hundred hours of community service, ideally counseling young children on the impact of a single bad decision. Even if the decision is made when we are blinded by love. 

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