Newsbrief: Life for Meth 5/28/04

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A Pekin, Illinois, man was sentenced to life in prison on federal methamphetamine manufacture conspiracy charges in Peoria on May 14, the Peoria Journal Star reported.

US District Judge Joe McDade sentenced 25-year-old Kenneth Zimmerman under federal sentencing guidelines that mandate the harsh sentence.

Judge McDade took no pleasure in the sentence and criticized federal sentencing practices in comments to the Journal Star after sentencing. "The (federal) guidelines really impose too much (of a strict sentence)," McDade said. "Young people involved in drugs have to understand if you are involved in distributing drugs such as crack and meth, you're facing long periods of imprisonment."

Zimmerman and codefendant Chad Davis, 26, were found guilty of conspiring to manufacture and distribute almost 15 pounds of meth between 1999 and 2002. Davis received a lesser 24-year sentence because he was not a "ringleader," according to prosecutors. Davis will have to serve 85% of that time, or 20 years, before he is eligible for release.

The Journal Star noted that while Zimmerman is the first Tazewell County (Peoria-Pekin) resident to be sentenced to life in prison for meth manufacture, he is not the first in the state. At least 22 more people face federal indictments in the same operation that netted Zimmerman and Davis.

"I stand before you begging and pleading for my life so some day I can return to my family," Zimmerman said shortly before being sentenced. "I'm a drug addict."

Sorry, kid. Federal law says rot in hell.

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Issue #339, 5/28/04 Editorial: Judge the System | California Senate Votes to Bar Random Drug Tests in Schools | DRCNet Interview: Frank Fisher, MD | Medical Marijuana Minds Gather in Charlottesville | Federal Appeals Court Upholds Oregon Assisted Suicide Law -- DEA Threats to Prosecute Hindered Pain Control | Newsbrief: Camden Opens Second Front in New Jersey Needle Exchange Rebellion | Newsbrief: Needle Exchange Comes to Paraguay | Newsbrief: Ohio Man Deported for Minor Marijuana Conviction Found Murdered in Brazil | Newsbrief: Life for Meth | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Kentucky Prosecutor Offers to Drop Charges in Return for Sex -- X-Rated Romp Caught on Video | Newsbrief: Supreme Court Expands Police Search Powers Again -- Cops Can Now Search Parked Cars Incident to Arrest | This Week in History | Media Scan -- Too Many to List in the Headline This Time! | 3rd Annual Drug War Vigil Film Festival and Contest | Job Opportunities at MPP | Job Opportunity: Campaign Coordinator for Marijuana Policy Reform, ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project | The Reformer's Calendar
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