ok. what's missing? Something like he was a major pusher, and the cops finally caught him, and plea bargained it down? Or that he was suspected in other crimes but they couldn't prove it so they plea bargained it down to selling one joint?
No jury would convict for one joint, so it sounds like a plea bargain...
"No jury would convict for one joint, so it sounds like a plea bargain..."
You are probably right, but that doesn't mean it was a good or fair bargain, or even that it advanced some good public policy. The kid (and his parents, if they were involved) may have been told the maximum penalty possible if they went to trial before a jury, but did not realize how unlikely a conviction would be, so they took a definite fate rather than an indeterminate one. If, as I have imagined the scenario, they voluntarily took a deal, do they then have no cause for complaint? Maybe so. But what about the effect on the rest of us? We have to pay for this kid to be incarcerated for a year or more and then pay for the follow up probabation and parole. If his life is ruined by having been in prison, then that will cost us still more (in public money spent and his productivity lost). It's easy to say that he shouldn't have done the crime (and he shouldn't), but shouldn't we balance the costs of incarceration and its aftermath against the damage caused by the crime? If the two get too far out of proportion with each other (which may be the case here), then you have a miscarriage of justice.
It wasn't a plea bargain. There was a two day jury trial. He was convicted of selling marijuana within 1000 feet of a school because there was a preschool in a church within 1000 feet of where they were. They were in a parking lot where young people hung out and people were complaining a lot of drug activity was occurring there. The drug task force sent undercover officers in to make buys over a several month period. Several others ended up getting arrested in the end, mostly for selling the hard stuff. This kid sold 1.12 grams of marijuana to a drug task force officer. He claims the officer kept badgering him about selling him him some pot and finally offered twice what it was worth so he sold it to him. The officer contends that the boy approached him offering him pot. The boy was seventeen when the offense occurred. His prison sentence was the mandatory minimum for his crime. The judge had to give him at least that after the jury rendered its verdict of guilty.