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The Orange County Register publishes analytical Expose about Corvain Cooper, life sentence for marijuana offenses

Corvain Cooper, for whom Patrick Megaro is petitioning Clemency

Corvain Cooper, for whom Patrick Megaro is petitioning Clemency

Patrick Megaro, Attorney, on Today Exclusive Television

Patrick Megaro, Attorney, on Today Exclusive Television

Website of Patrick Megaro, Defense Lawyer

Website of Patrick Megaro, Defense Lawyer, Corvain Cooper Clemency Petition

Video Appeals Attorney Patrick Megaro YouTube Video

Video Appeals Attorney Patrick Megaro YouTube Video

The Megaro Criminal Law Library Website

The Megaro Criminal Law Library Website

Corvain Cooper's only hope to ever get released from prison is a clemency grant by President Trump or a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Halscott Megaro PA (N/A:N/A)

I’m just hoping that somebody, somewhere — whether that’s in the White House or across the street at the Supreme Court — sees that this particular sentence is complete madness.”
— Patrick Megaro, Defense Lawyer
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, September 11, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- On September 10, 2018, The Orange County Register published a detailed analysis of the case of Corvain Cooper, whose only hope to ever get released from prison is a clemency grant by President Trump or a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. While such dire prospects would indicate that the most violent crimes are involved, Cooper’s offenses are non-violent marijuana offenses. But he had two prior offenses, which resulted in the application of the “three strikes law.”

The Orange County Register article was researched and written by journalist Brooke Edwards Staggs, who is a general assignment reporter with a focus on covering the politics, business, health and culture of cannabis. For this article, Staggs interviewed, among others, the mother of Corvain Cooper, other family members, and Cooper’s attorney, Orlando-based Criminal Defense Lawyer Patrick Megaro. Patrick Megaro has represented Cooper pro bono since 2014. Mr. Megaro has ceaselessly pursued justice for Cooper, but now it is down to two options – President Trump or the U.S. Supreme Court.

The article quotes Patrick Megaro: “I’m just hoping that somebody, somewhere — whether that’s in the White House or across the street at the Supreme Court — sees that this particular sentence is complete madness.”

The article then summarizes the appeals that Patrick Megaro has initiated on Cooper’s behalf:

“Megaro appealed Cooper’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in 2016 the justices declined to hear it. Still, two decisions made by California voters while Cooper has been in prison serve to give Megaro and Cooper hope. First, in 2014, voters approved Proposition 47, reducing many drug crimes to misdemeanors. Under that new law, Cooper’s conviction for possession of cough syrup with codeine was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor. Then, in November 2016, voters approved Proposition 64. In addition to legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, the measure reduced or eliminated nearly every marijuana-related crime. And in May 2017, Cooper’s felony marijuana charge from 2009 was reduced to a misdemeanor. Earlier this year, Megaro went back to federal appeals court in North Carolina and explained that Cooper’s two prior felonies were no longer strikes. But they refused to reconsider his sentence. In July, Megaro filed a new petition with the Supreme Court. And, last month, they got one bit of potentially encouraging news, when Solicitor General Noel Francisco requested more time to submit the government’s response to Cooper’s petition. … As they wait to hear back from the Supreme Court, Megaro is also appealing Cooper’s case to the White House — for the second time.”

It all began when Corvain Cooper was charged in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and conspiracy to commit money laundering and structuring transactions. A special information was also filed against Cooper, alleging two prior felony convictions for possession of drugs (one for marijuana, one for codeine cough syrup) in the California state courts. The filing triggered a mandatory life sentence without parole. The reason for the unusually harsh sentence is the so-called “Three Strikes” law. These laws require a person guilty of committing a drug felony and two other previous drug felony convictions to serve a mandatory life sentence in prison. The “Three Strikes” law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or drug felonies, and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence.

Background

The underlying court cases are United States v. Cooper, 624 Fed.Appx. 819 (4th Cir. 2015), and United States v. Cooper, 714 Fed.Appx. 259 (4th Cir. 2018). According to a press release of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “from in or about 2004 through January 2013, Cooper was involved in a drug conspiracy that trafficked marijuana from California to the Charlotte area. Court records show that Cooper was charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute at least one thousand kilograms of marijuana as well as money laundering conspiracy and structuring financial transactions through banking institutions to avoid IRS reporting requirements. Cooper, along with two co-defendants, Evelyn LaChapelle and Natalia Wade, were convicted of all charges on October 18, 2013, following a three-day trial.” He was sentenced to life in prison on June 18, 2014. See https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdnc/pr/california-drug-trafficker-sentenced-life-prison-drug-conspiracy-and-related-charges

The Orange County Register article is available online at https://www.ocregister.com/2018/09/10/this-man-will-spend-life-in-prison-for-a-marijuana-conviction-unless-donald-trump-or-the-supreme-court-helps-him/

A Wikipedia article on Three-Strikes Law is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-strikes_law

A online petition urging the President to grant Corvain Cooper clemency and release him from prison is at https://www.change.org/p/donald-trump-release-corvain-cooper-from-life-imprisonment-without-parole-for-marijuana

About Patrick Megaro

Patrick Michael Megaro is an attorney at Halscott Megaro PA. His primary areas of practice are criminal defense, criminal appeals, post-conviction relief, civil appeals, and civil rights litigation.

Website: https://www.appealslawgroup.com/our-attorneys/patrick-megaro-esq/

The Megaro Criminal Law Library: https://themegarocriminallawlibrary.com/

Attorney Profile: https://criminal-defense-attorney.squarespace.com/patrick-michael-megaro-esq/

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-michael-megaro-%E2%AD%90-877b284/

Attorney Profile: https://solomonlawguild.com/patrick-michael-megaro

Patrick Megaro
Halscott Megaro, P.A.
(407) 255-2164
email us here

Three strikes law, by Patrick Megaro Criminal Defense Attorney in Orlando

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