Search
| Clear, 70 F (21 C)
| RSS | |

SECTIONS:

 

Arts · Politics · Crime
· Sports · Food ·
· Opinion · NOLA ·
Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

VENDREDI

May 26th

Bayou Country Superfest

Mercedes Benz Superdome, 11AM

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts and many more

 

Magazine St. Art Market

Dat Dog, 4PM

Happy hour + local art

 

Royal Street Stroll

200-900 Blocks of Royal St, 530PM

Led by the Krewe of Cork

 

YP Family Game Night

Urban League of Greater New Orleans, 6PM

Game night for young professionals and their families

 

Toonces and Friends

Marigny Opera House, 7PM

An orchestral journey through time

 

Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 10PM

Featuring J.DUB’L and residents Erica and Rye

 

New Thousand + Adrian

Balcony Music Club, 11PM

Violin centered hip hop

 

Free Music Series

Fulton Ally, 10PM

Featuring Bubl Trubl

SAMEDI

May 27th

Palmer Park, 10AM
The May edition of the monthly art market
 
New Orleans Jazz Market, 3PM
Light bites, drinks, DJs
 
Bar Redux, 7PM
Horror, fantasy, and spiritual movies from 13 countries
 
Bacchanel Fine Wine and Spirits, 7:30PM
Progressive jazz from one of the cities best
 
The Howlin Wolf, 8PM
Improvisational funk music
 
Joan Mitchell Center, 8PM
Monthly open mic
 
The Orpheum Theater, 9PM
Tremaine The Tour with support by Mike Angel
 
Santos Bar, 10PM
Mind expanding multi genre music

DIMANCHE

May 28th

NOLA MIX Records, 11AM
Teaching kids to DJ and produce beats
 
The Courtyard Brewery, 3PM
Raffle, silent auction, craft beer
 
Mags on Elysian Fields, 7PM
A new series dedicated to pushing the limits of contemporary music
 
Three Keys, 7PM
OC cabaret goes Sci-Fi
 
UNO Lakefront Arena, 8PM
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut album
 
One Eyed Jacks, 10PM
Remixes, edits and originals of Fleetwood Mac
 
Rare Form, 10PM
Vintage sounds of American Root Music

Badon Bill Seeks Reduced Prison Sentences for Pot


In November 2012, the latest round of elections put a number of politicians in office for another term or the first time. Now, as the start of the legislative session looms (April 8), NoDef is taking the time to look at the actual work these politicians are planning for this year -- what they hope to be the fruits of their labor. Once again, State Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans) is proving himself to be in the weeds with HB 103, which sets to create more appropriate sentences for marijuana and cannabinoid offenses.

 

The sentences that could help boost the state's economy by collecting fines, and reducing the state's world-record prison population with more realistic sentencing guidelines.

 

The proposed changes to the law would amend the criminal penalties for, "second and subsequent convictions of possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids and prohibits the application of the Habitual Offender Law to possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid offenses," the bill's abstract states.

 

For the first offense remains as a maximum of $500 fine or six months in jail. For the second offense, the penalty is reduced from a maximum $2,500 fine to a $500 fine or a year in prison. It would also repeal the provision in the current law that have special probation criteria for the second offense.

 

The new law also creates hierarchy, by distinguishing between the third and subsequent offenses, and also creates a distinction for these drug offenses and violent felonies that should earn someone decades in prison.

 

Penalties for a third offense comes down from a 20-year sentence and a possible $5,000 fine to a fine of $2,000, a prison term of no more than two-years, or both. Finally, any other violations would either be fined $2,000, no more than five-years in prison, or both. This brings down the potential penalty for offenders from the 20-years prescribed by the habitual offenders statute (commonly called three-strikes laws).

 

The proposed law also accommodates motions to reconsider sentencing for those who are or would have been forced to serve the previous maximums, or those serving under the habitual offenders statute. 

 

"Proposed law removes possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids as a possible offense for which an offender may be sentenced pursuant to the Habitual Offender Law," the abstract for HB 103 says. "[Also] proposed law authorizes a defendant who is incarcerated after having been convicted of and sentenced according to the provisions of [the] present law regarding possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids or present law habitual offender provisions, wherein at least one of the offenses which forms the basis for such sentence is a conviction for possession of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids... if the defendant has served at least half of the maximum term of imprisonment provided for in proposed law."

 

Essentially, if one of the felony convictions that would have had an offender serving life was handed down because of marijuana, that person could file a motion to have the judgement reconsidered under the sentencing guidelines outlined in the new law, as long as they have served half the maximum sentence.

 

As of 2012, Louisiana held the honor of having the highest prison population in the world, with an estimated 40,000 people locked up in the state's prisons. That number is cited as thirteen times times the total number of inmates in Chinese prisons. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that more than 12-percent of inmates at the state and federal levels are serving for marijuana offenses, costing Americans an estimated one billion dollars a year (that's with nine zeroes people).

 

The bill goes before the legislature this session, which commences Monday, April 8. 




view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
Follow Us on Facebook
view counter
view counter


Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily