Derek Harris, a military veteran who serving a life sentence for selling less than $30 worth of marijuana, is set to be released from prison. His attorney confirmed the news to CNN, Saturday.
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Harris was originally arrested in Louisiana in 2008 for selling an officer .69 grams of marijuana. He was going to be convicted for a 15-year prison sentence, but the Habitual Offender Law was implemented since he had already been charged with the crime before, and he was given a life sentence.
The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed with Harris’ argument for appeal claiming he had “ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing on post-conviction review.” The District Attorney’s also admitted that Harris “received ineffective assistance at sentencing and was entitled to a lesser sentence.”
“His prior offenses were nonviolent and related to his untreated dependency on drugs,” Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John Weimer wrote in a statement.
Weimer also added that the trial judge said Harris was “not a drug kingpin” nor did he fit what would be described “as a drug dealer, so far as I can tell.”
Harris’ attorney tells CNN he hopes his client will be released soon and is working with the Louisiana Department of Corrections on Harris’ release.