Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jan 2003
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2003 The Huntsville Times
Authors: Timothy M. Coffman,  and David White


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 

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 

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