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Miss. Supreme Court upholds 12-year sentence of man having cellphone in jail

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Jim K    14,198

Been said before ... but our legal system is really screwed up.

Quote

A jury found Willie Nash guilty of possession of a cell phone in a correctional facility. Nash did not appeal the jury’s verdict; he challenged only the twelve year sentence he received. He claimed the twelve-year sentence was grossly disproportionate to the crime and thus violated the Eighth Amendment. Though harsh, the Mississippi Supreme Court found Nash’s sentence fell within the statutory range of three to fifteen years. And the judge based his sentencing decision on the seriousness of Nash’s crime and evidence of Nash’s criminal history. Because Nash has not shown that a threshold comparison of the crime committed to the sentence imposed leads to an inference of gross disproportionality, no further analysis was mandated, and the Court affirmed the sentence.

Justia

 

 

Presiding Justice King, though agreeing that the court had reached the correct ruling, wrote of his concern that the case demonstrated a failure of the court system on multiple layers:

Quote

First, it is highly probable that the Newton County Jail’s booking procedure was not followed in Nash’s case. An officer at the jail testified that all inmates were strip-searched when booked, although that officer did not book Nash. Yet Nash went into the jail with a large smartphone that would have likely been impossible to hide during a strip search. That officer also testified that all inmates were told during booking that they could not bring phones into the jail. But Nash’s behavior was that of a person who did not know this, as he voluntarily showed the officer his phone and asked the officer to charge it for him.

 

Second, the officer who booked Nash the night before the cell phone incident did not testify at trial. It is consequently unknown whether booking procedures were actually followed in Nash’s case. Furthermore, had this officer testified that booking procedures were followed for Nash, he could have been questioned on cross-examination about how he possibly missed a large smartphone during a strip search. It seems problematic to potentially allow someone into the jail with a cell phone, and then to prosecute that person for such action.

 

Third, I note that Nash’s criminal history evinces a change in behavior. Both his previous convictions were for burglary. His last conviction was in 2001, and he was sentenced to serve seven years. So, for approximately eight to ten years,6 Nash has stayed out of trouble with the law. He has a wife and three children who depend on him. Combining this fact with the seemingly innocuous, victimless nature of his crime, it seems it would have been prudent for the prosecutor to exercise prosecutorial discretion and decline to prosecute or to seek a plea deal. In that same vein, it would have been prudent for the judge to use his judicial discretion in sentencing to sentence Nash to a lesser sentence than that of twelve years.

So, it is possible that Mr. Nash didn't know about the cellphone policy; it is possible that the he wasn't booked correctly (the booking officer did not testify); he wasn't using his cellphone nefariously ... yet he gets 12 years.

 

Bonkers

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DocM    16,685

He should have used his phones browser to look up this legal principal which is pretty much used everywhere,

 

Ignorantia legis neminem excusat

~~ Latin: "ignorance of the law excuses not" 

 

then wiped & ditched it.

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Director Fury    9

DocM,

 

You don't lookup legal principles that you don't know exist, c'mon unless he's a lawyer or something how would he know that?

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DocM    16,685
4 hours ago, Director Fury said:

DocM,

 

You don't lookup legal principles that you don't know exist, c'mon unless he's a lawyer or something how would he know that?

 

Because it applies from elementary school rules, municipal lawn length regs, to traffic law, on up to criminal/civil? It's on TV 18+  hours a day via L&O and other reruns?

 

If you aren't aware of it by age 8 you're catatonic.

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Jim K    14,198

No kidding Doc ... in case you didn't read ... Mr. Nash "did not appeal the jury’s verdict; he challenged only the twelve year sentence he received."

 

Do you really believe that 12 years and a felony conviction is reasonable?  Honestly.

 

 

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adrynalyne    12,763
4 minutes ago, Jim K said:

Not kidding Doc ... in case you didn't read ... Mr. Nash "did not appeal the jury’s verdict; he challenged only the twelve year sentence he received."

 

Do you really believe that 12 years and a felony conviction is reasonable?  Honestly.

 

 

Cell phones are serious business. 🤣

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Jim K    14,198
Just now, adrynalyne said:

Cell phones are serious business. 🤣

Obviously ... up there with weapons (according to that Mississippi law).

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DocM    16,685
2 hours ago, Jim K said:

Not kidding Doc ... in case you didn't read ... Mr. Nash "did not appeal the jury’s verdict; he challenged only the twelve year sentence he received."

 

Do you really believe that 12 years and a felony conviction is reasonable?  Honestly.

 

Cell phones are banned because prisoners & prison gangs commonly use them to commit other crimes; organize hits, trade contraband in and out of prison, arrange escapes, etc. A friggin' laundry list.

 

Ask a prison guard sometime and they'll lay it out chapter & verse. Those laws were passed for damned good reasons.

 

FCC is also working on it.
 

https://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/summits/Combating-Contraband-Cell-Phones-in-Prison-Handout-v4.pdf

 

 

Edited by DocM

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Jim K    14,198
28 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

Cell phones are banned because prisoners & prison gangs commonly use them to commit other crimes; organize hits, trade contraband in and out of prison, arrange escapes, etc. A friggin' laundry list.

 

Ask a prison guard sometime and they'll lay it out chapter & verse. Those laws were passed for damned good reasons.

 

FCC is also working on it.
 

https://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/summits/Combating-Contraband-Cell-Phones-in-Prison-Handout-v4.pdf

 

 

LOL ... at you trying to justify that Mr. Nash sentencing was proportionate for a "seemingly innocuous, victimless nature of his crime" where "it is highly probable that the Newton County Jail’s booking procedure was not followed"

 

Dude was sentenced to twelve years because, apparently, the jail failed to do THEIR job.  He wasn't using the phone to "commit other crimes; organize hits, trade contraband in and out of prison jail, arrange escapes" 

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adrynalyne    12,763
28 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

Cell phones are banned because prisoners & prison gangs commonly use them to commit other crimes; organize hits, trade contraband in and out of prison, arrange escapes, etc. A friggin' laundry list.

 

Ask a prison guard sometime and they'll lay it out chapter & verse. Those laws were passed for damned good reasons.

 

FCC is also working on it.
 

https://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/summits/Combating-Contraband-Cell-Phones-in-Prison-Handout-v4.pdf

 

 

Innocent until proven guilty...I can see the sentence *if* they provided evidence he did any of those things with the phone. This is bull crap. Murderers can get less time. 

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DocM    16,685
3 hours ago, adrynalyne said:

Innocent until proven guilty...I can see the sentence *if* they provided evidence he did any of those things with the phone. This is bull crap. Murderers can get less time. 

 

He was guilty of  having a phone in jail, a felony. Given early release, local media says he'll be out in ~9 years (Feb 2029).

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wdam.com/2020/01/11/miss-supreme-court-upholds-year-sentence-man-convicted-having-cellphone-jail/%3foutputType=amp

 

He also had prior felonies, meaning the prosecutor could have asked for Habitual Offender sentencing (3 strikes); life without parole.

 

He's lucky.

  • Facepalm 2

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adrynalyne    12,763
27 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

He was guilty of  having a phone in jail, a felony. Given early release, local media says he'll be out in ~9 years (Feb 2029).

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wdam.com/2020/01/11/miss-supreme-court-upholds-year-sentence-man-convicted-having-cellphone-jail/%3foutputType=amp

 

He also had prior felonies, meaning the prosecutor could have asked for Habitual Offender sentencing (3 strikes); life without parole.

 

He's lucky.

Woosh. 

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wakjak    20,202
18 hours ago, DocM said:

 

He was guilty of  having a phone in jail, a felony. Given early release, local media says he'll be out in ~9 years (Feb 2029).

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wdam.com/2020/01/11/miss-supreme-court-upholds-year-sentence-man-convicted-having-cellphone-jail/%3foutputType=amp

 

He also had prior felonies, meaning the prosecutor could have asked for Habitual Offender sentencing (3 strikes); life without parole.

 

He's lucky.

Quote

King also noted that Nash’s criminal history reveals a change in behavior, with his last conviction of burglary being in 2001, which he was sentenced to seven years in prison for. For eight to 10 years, King said Nash had stayed out of trouble with the law. He also has a wife and three children who depend on him.


You're smarter than this... 

Edited by wakjak

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DocM    16,685
11 minutes ago, wakjak said:

 his last conviction of burglary being in 2001.


You're smarter than this... 

 

More ad homs is all you have? Sad 🤔

 

As long as his prior felonies haven't been expunged by a court they count for enhanced sentence  requests by the DA. 

 

This ain't Canada.

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wakjak    20,202
6 minutes ago, DocM said:

As long as his prior felonies haven't been expunged by a court they count for enhanced sentence  requests by the DA. 

As if that matters. They didn't HAVE to give him 12 years. They chose to do so. Don't be so damn obtuse. It's not his fault proper procedure wasn't followed.

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DocM    16,685
16 minutes ago, wakjak said:

As if that matters. They didn't HAVE to give him 12 years. They chose to do so. Don't be so damn obtuse. It's not his fault proper procedure wasn't followed.

 

It was followed; sentencing is up to the trial judge. He gets a recommendation from the Probation Department, but isn't required to follow it. There are also  sentencing guideline, which he didn't max out.

 

It's called judicial discretion in sentencing. 

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wakjak    20,202
1 minute ago, DocM said:

It was followed

So the booking officer just allowed him to enter the jail with his cell phone, knowing he wasn't allowed to have it inside? Where are the other inmates cell phones? Surely this would demand an investigation to see who else was allowed in with their cellular devices.

Bull. ****.

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adrynalyne    12,763
2 hours ago, wakjak said:

So the booking officer just allowed him to enter the jail with his cell phone, knowing he wasn't allowed to have it inside? Where are the other inmates cell phones? Surely this would demand an investigation to see who else was allowed in with their cellular devices.

Bull. ****.

In their prison pockets, of course. 

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LaP    2,218
On 1/11/2020 at 9:27 PM, DocM said:

 

Cell phones are banned because prisoners & prison gangs commonly use them to commit other crimes; organize hits, trade contraband in and out of prison, arrange escapes, etc. A friggin' laundry list.

 

Ask a prison guard sometime and they'll lay it out chapter & verse. Those laws were passed for damned good reasons.

 

FCC is also working on it.
 

https://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/docs/summits/Combating-Contraband-Cell-Phones-in-Prison-Handout-v4.pdf

 

 

You fail to acknowledge the point though. His point is not that they should not be illegal. His point is that 12 years is ridiculous which it is honestly. Libby got 6 times less (the max was 25 years) for lying to FBI and obstruction of justice which are imo clearly more serious crimes (even ignoring that his obstruction of justice for which he was found guilty prevented to determine if the info he leaked was against the law).

Edited by LaP
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DocM    16,685
3 hours ago, LaP said:

You fail to acknowledge the point though. His point is not that they should not be illegal. His point is that 12 years is ridiculous which it is honestly. Libby got 6 times less (the max was 25 years) for lying to FBI and obstruction of justice which are imo clearly more serious crimes (even ignoring that his obstruction of justice for which he was found guilty prevented to determine if the info he leaked was against the law).

 

He'll be out in Feb. 2029;  roughly 9 years from now.

 

As I said, it's judicial discretion.  Because it's within the bounds of the Sentencing Guidelines is not improper.  Against some people's sensibilities  clearly.

 

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LaP    2,218
7 hours ago, DocM said:

 

He'll be out in Feb. 2029;  roughly 9 years from now.

 

As I said, it's judicial discretion.  Because it's within the bounds of the Sentencing Guidelines is not improper.  Against some people's sensibilities  clearly.

 

Nothing to do with sensibility. It's a matter of justice. People get away with far less for more serious crimes on a daily basis.

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Nick H.    10,218

So he didn't know he wasn't allowed to have a phone, no one took it from him when he went in, and in what seems to be something of a rare case he has worked to change his ways after his previous conviction.  And they want to give him 12 years? Are they mad?  What happens to the officers? It's down to their negligence after all.

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cork1958    1,822
35 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

So he didn't know he wasn't allowed to have a phone, no one took it from him when he went in, and in what seems to be something of a rare case he has worked to change his ways after his previous conviction.  And they want to give him 12 years? Are they mad?  What happens to the officers? It's down to their negligence after all.

"It's down to their negligence after all"

 

That's the part that needs to be questioned.

 

I totally agree that people who have committed far worse crimes haven't received this much punishment, and I think this punishment is absolutely ridiculous, but who is going to give up their personal belongings when getting booked if the cops don't ask for them or search for them?

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restroom    340

And Trumps administration is worried about a fair trial sending someone back to the UK to be tried for the manslaughter\murder of someone by driving on the wrong side of the road... Nuts.

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waysidesc    143

this is so wrong.

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