Release Corvain Cooper from Life Imprisonment Without Parole for Marijuana
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On June 18, 2014, Corvain T. Cooper was convicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte for the crime of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. This was a non-violent crime. Corvain Cooper did not use any violence, or even threaten any violence, in this case.
Despite former Attorney General Eric Holder's promise not to seek life sentences for non-violent drug offenders, the United States Attorney sought and obtained a life sentence under the Federal "Three Strikes" law. Corvain Cooper's two prior felonies that were the first two strikes were a conviction in California for possession of marijuana, and one conviction for possession of codeine cough syrup without a prescription.
When he was sent to prison for the rest of his life for selling marijuana, Corvain Cooper was 34 years old, a father to two young daughters, ages 4 and 8, a fiancee, a son, a friend, and a small business owner selling clothing and footwear.
Corvain appealed his conviction and sentence, arguing that his sentence of life imprisonment without parole for a non-violent drug offense as Cruel and Unusual Punishment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld this injustice, and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
After his direct appeals concluded, the State of California enacted Proposition 47 and Proposition 64 as part of legislative drug law reforms after California legalized marijuana. Both laws permitted people like Corvain Cooper to apply to the courts to vacate their marijuana or drug felony convictions, and replace them with misdemeanor convictions. Corvain Cooper successfully applied, and both of his felony convictions were thrown out. Both of the "two strikes" were vacated, meaning that Corvain Cooper was no longer eligible for the "Three Strikes" law.
We filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2255 in the Federal court, challenging his life sentence under the "Three Strikes" law - since two of the three strikes were no longer felonies, he should not receive a life sentence.
The Federal courts have denied our challenge. The case is once again before the United States Supreme Court. If the Court allows this sentence to stand, this man will never see his family again.
In 2016, we submitted an application for clemency with President Barack Obama, asking him to commute this grossly unjust sentence of life imprisonment for a non-violent drug offense. Unfortunately, before he left office, President Obama denied our clemency petition.
I have been representing Corvain Cooper since his sentencing in 2014. Because his family has been unable to afford legal fees, I have been representing him for free - pro bono. I have pledged to continue to fight for this young man, who is a genuinely good person who does not deserve this Draconian punishment.
Join us in asking President Donald J. Trump to stop the madness of mandatory life sentences for non-violent drug offenders, and commute Corvain Cooper's sentence so his daughters can grow up with a father.
For more information, contact:
Patrick Michael Megaro, Esq.
Halscott Megaro, P.A.
1300 North Semoran Boulevard, Suite 195
Orlando, FL 32807 USA
Phone: (407) 255-2164
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