In 2017, Chris Joseph’s client, Donte Westmoreland, was sentenced to serve 92 months in prison for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute.  Westmoreland had no prior convictions.

“The law is so out of sync with reality at this point,” said Joseph, who called the current Kansas law and penalties for marijuana “unjust.” Unfortunately, in Kansas, a defendant can serve a longer sentence for a marijuana crime than a violent crime.

Worse, sentences for marijuana crimes are not evenly applied across the state. “He was the first guy I’ve ever had sentenced to prison on a marijuana conviction – first, ever,” Joseph told The Star.  “And I’d been doing it 17 years at that point.”

Governor Laura Kelly’s office is currently reviewing a clemency application submitted by Westmoreland.  He is asking for a second chance, “to show the State of Kansas I am worthy and capable of being a productive member to society.”

Read the full story here: https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article245447565.html.

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