His Attorney Patrick Megaro, working pro bono, has filed several different petitions, and more than 18,000 people have signed with their names on Change.org
Halscott Megaro PA (N/A:N/A)
— Patrick Megaro, Defense Lawyer
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, September 28, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — The highest court of the United States is right now considering whether to hear the appeal of Corvain Cooper (“grant a writ of certiorari”), who has been sentenced to life in prison for non-violent marijuana offenses under the so-called “Three Strikes Law.” The petition by his attorney Patrick Megaro, who has been representing him pro bono (without pay, as a community service) is being distributed and reviewed among the Supreme Court Justices. During this process, each of the Justices of the Supreme Court receive a copy of the petition, the Justices' law clerks read and review the petition, and create memoranda outlining the case. The Justices will then meet to decide whether to grant the petition and agree to hear the appeal, or not.
Attorney Megaro has filed several petitions in support of Cooper, and more than 18,000 people have signed with their names the petition to release Corvain Cooper. See https://www.change.org/p/donald-trump-release-corvain-cooper-from-life-imprisonment-without-parole-for-marijuana
Through his attorney Megaro, Corvain Cooper has simultaneously petitioned President Donald Trump for executive clemency and commutation of his sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
In response to the appeal filed by attorney Megaro, the United States Government has submitted a response, opposing the appeal and urging the Supreme Court to deny Corvain Cooper relief from his sentence.
Corvain Cooper and his family, particularly his young daughter, remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant the petition.
Explains attorney Patrick Megaro: “This is a heartbreaking case and I could not help but get involved even though Corvain does not have any money to pay. He has two little daughters who will never go to the movies with their dad or be led to the altar by him unless the Supreme Court intervenes or President Trump grants clemency. This is a very important cause – it is estimated that there are about 2,000 people … men and women, fathers and mothers, in prison for life for non-violent drug offenses, oftentimes involving very small amounts of such substances. The punishment does not fit the crime, and in fact it is so disproportionate that it makes a human being sick in the stomach. The reality of the situation is that drug law reform, especially marijuana reform, is at the forefront in many state legislature’s agendas. Marijuana is now legalized, decriminalized, or approved for medicinal use in one form or another in the majority of States. Due Process and fundamental fairness are at the heart of this case.”
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.
Mr. Cooper tried appealing his conviction and sentence, stating that the sentence of life for non-violent crimes was against his Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) of the United States Constitution which prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the case, and the Supreme Court declined to even hear the case.
The State of California enacted Proposition 47 in 2014, which re-categorized several non-violent offenses as misdemeanors. Prior to enacting Proposition 47, possession of marijuana was considered a felony. This also allowed people who had prior felony convictions under the old statute to vacate them.
Proposition 64 (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act) was enacted on November 9, 2016, by the State of California which legalized the use of recreational marijuana. This Act permitted certain people who had been convicted of marijuana felony offenses to apply to vacate those convictions and reclassify them as misdemeanors.
Says Patrick Megaro, “I have been representing Mr. Cooper and I have said from day one, that I am in this fight to represent Corvain Cooper no matter how long it takes. Today, is yet another example of my strong commitment.”
About the Corvain Cooper Case
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 case is Corvain T. Cooper v. United States, Docket # 18-5222.
A link to the online Supreme Court docket can be found at
The petition is at https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/18/18-5222/52544/20180706170004149_Petition%20for%20Writ%20of%20Certiorari%20and%20Appendix%20FINAL%20PDFA.pdf
Join the other 18,000 supporters of Corvain Cooper who have signed the petition at:
“It’s not just Alice Marie Johnson: Over 2,000 federal prisoners are serving life sentences for nonviolent drug crimes,”
“ACLU: A LIVING DEATH: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR NONVIOLENT OFFENSES,” https://www.aclu.org/report/living-death-life-without-parole-nonviolent-offenses
Halscott Megaro, P.A.
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