The New Face Of Prohibition: Alabama Teen Gets 26 yrs for selling Pot

Meet Webster Alexander the Alabama teen who got 26 years for selling an undercover narc he met at school marijuana. Contact the Alabama Marijuana Party to find out how you can help.
TEEN GETS 26 YEARS FOR SCHOOL DRUG SALE

MOULTON – A Lawrence County High School student pleaded guilty Monday to selling drugs at school and received sentences totaling 26 years in prison.

Webster Alexander, 19, of 2161 Lawrence County 180, Moulton, received the jail time for six drug charges, including four for distributing controlled substances at the school.

Lawrence County District Attorney Jim Osborn said the sentences were stiff, but justified.

“Distribution of a controlled substance is a serious offense any time, but it is especially serious when it’s on school property,” he said.

The other two charges were for first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Lawrence County Circuit Judge Philip Reich sentenced Alexander to 13 years on each distribution charge. He gave him three years for the act of selling on campus, five years for selling drugs within three miles of a school and five years for selling within three miles of a housing project.

Reich ordered Alexander to serve two of the distribution sentences consecutively. He will serve the other two at the same time he serves the first two. Reich also sentenced Alexander to five years on the marijuana charge and six months on the paraphernalia charge.

Alexander applied for probation and is free on bond pending a probation hearing.

Authorities arrested Alexander at his home April 9, 2002, after an undercover agent with the Lawrence County Drug Task Force identified him as one of the students selling drugs at school. The agent posed as a student for six weeks and made several drug buys.

An hour after authorities arrested Alexander, they arrested Cordine Bush, 19, in the school’s cafeteria and charged him with two counts of selling to the undercover officer.

Authorities made a simultaneous raid at the home of Rodney Hicks, 18, of 1460 Lawrence County 180, and charged him with one count of sale to the undercover officer, first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Bush’s case is pending. The next plea docket is in March. Hicks received youthful offender status.

NO JUSTICE
The Dec. 23 Times editorial titled “Where is the justice?” said that Alabama has seen life sentences imposed routinely, as in the case of a local man who received a life sentence for marijuana possession.

Dec. 17, 2002, Judge Battle sentenced me, Timothy Coffman, to 15 years for possession of 1 gram of marijuana, to wit: one cigarette. My appointed attorney repeatedly told me if I didn’t plead guilty I’d have a jury trial and if I lost at trial I could receive up to life in prison.

I, David White, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Sept. 18, 1992 for possession of cocaine, less than $5 worth. I served seven years in prison, paroled out and worked four years with no problems – until I failed to report to my parole officer one time. This cost me my parole.

The Times also states that John Raley, the state conservation officer, received probation for manslaughter.

Not long ago a Madison County judge sentenced Jerry Grisham to 10 years, split two years time served and freed him on a manslaughter charge that was Grisham’s second murder conviction. The first murder conviction was in Tennessee.

Thousands of Alabamians have been given unduly harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug and property crimes. Yet the murderers in these two cases were given probation and set free.
Makes us wholeheartedly agree with The Times when it asked “Where is the justice?”

Timothy M. Coffman and David White, Annex 1, Madison County Jail, Huntsville

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