Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry
314-862-4332

Missouri judge in pot case laments his imposed sentence

We note on a relevant page of our website at the St. Louis criminal defense firm of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry that state and federal authorities have pulled back a bit in recent years from notably harsh sentencing guidelines in some drug cases.

Although that has promoted both logic and fairness in select criminal matters, drug crime defendants -- even nonviolent offenders -- continue to receive notably stringent prison terms in legions of cases.

As we stress on our site, "Despite some progress, individuals in Missouri who face charges related to the possession and trafficking of illegal and prescription drugs still face harsh penalties."

The recent sentencing of an elderly Missouri resident from Polk County certainly underscores that point.

We suspect that many of our readers might be dismayed by the judicial outcome in the man's case. The 77-year-old defendant was sentenced by a federal judge in Springfield late last month to a 10-year prison term after pleading guilty to growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants on his rural property.

Concededly, many people might consider that a fair-sized drug operation. Reportedly, though, the man has no prior history of violence and is currently beset by medical problems.

Moreover, his attorneys have long contended that authorities illegally entered the defendant's property without properly securing a search warrant, which they state should have resulted in a court ruling that any evidence seized was inadmissible.

The sentencing judge clearly rued his imposed sentence, which he stated was a minimum-term outcome that he lacked discretion to alter.

"This is not a sentence I feel particularly good about," he stated, adding that he would pass along a recommendation to Missouri criminal authorities to grant the defendant an early "compassionate release."

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Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry

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