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June 3, 2006

Catching up with Weldon Angelos

Regular readers will recall the story of Weldon Angelos, a first offender who was begrudgingly sentenced to 55 years' imprisonment by Judge Paul Cassell for marijuana sales under federal mandatory minimums.  This month's issue of The Progressive has this long article that tells the story of Angelos' life and crime and fate.  Here's the start:

Weldon Angelos has matching several-day-old stubble on his scalp and on his face. He has striking steel-blue eyes.  He holds his body confidently, even aggressively, clad in prison-gray slacks and work shirt.  The only visible sign of unease he betrays is the ceaseless intertwining of his fingers. He is twenty-five years old, a resident of the medium security federal penitentiary at Lompoc, California. He is slated to remain behind bars until 2059, when he will be seventy-eight.

Angelos works in the prison's dental lab and takes college classes — studying religion, philosophy, politics, anything to take his mind off the facts of his incarceration.  He hasn't seen his two sons in the year-plus that he has been in prison.  He's only seen his daughter a couple times. And he doesn't know if he'll ever set foot outside the penitentiary grounds again....

Angelos is not a murderer.  Nor is he a rapist, an armed robber, or a kidnapper.  If he were, chances are he'd be staring down a shorter sentence than the fifty-five years he's burdened with.  No, he is a medium-scale Salt Lake City marijuana dealer who had no prior felony convictions.

Some prior Angelos posts:

June 3, 2006 at 07:05 AM | Permalink

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