Two Joints. 13 Years. Golden Rule?

Found with two marijuana joints in 2010, now 48-year-old truck driver and father of seven Bernard Noble wound his way through Louisiana’s judicial system until its Supreme Court increased his three-time-loser sentence to 13 years and four months of hard labor.

Noble already had several misdemeanor and two felony drug convictions on his record before the 2010 arrest. He was charged with a felony and originally sentenced to five years. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro Jr. appealed, saying that Noble, “has a flagrant disregard for the law.” The Supreme Court ultimately sided with Cannizzaro and jacked up Noble’s sentence.

While much has been written about the case, a short, but relatively thorough article can be found here in a Gulf-focused publication. (Note: the number of Noble’s children is inaccurate in the attached article.) A number of court decisions and briefs are also available discussing the case.

Golden Rule questions to consider:

1) No one has claimed that Noble ever dealt drugs. Is a 13-year sentence consistent with the Golden Rule for personal-use behavior? His three-strikes sentence is based on felony convictions for cocaine possession in 1991 and 2003.

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