Is a mandatory natural life sentence for a drug offense just?

Is a mandatory natural life sentence for a drug offense just?

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carmen giles started this petition to Governor J.B Pritzker and

✓ I have known Reginald Guice for over two decades and I'm extremely devastated to learn that he received ’Natural Life’ for a nonviolent drug offense. So I decided to share his story in an attempt to shed light on this unjust. How can we, as a society, let someone die in prison for a drug charge? I, along with thousands of other people that I've conversed with, feel that this is definitely an over sentence. Even the judge presiding over his trial stated ”I think I wouldn't have sentenced anything close to that but I think they satisfied the statue and I Don't make the law. I just have to apply it!” Judge Kouri also stated ”I wouldn't give you anywhere near a life sentence. And I've said for the record and I did it on purpose so that the Appellate Court would know that I think this is an excessive penalty”! The judge had no discretion and was forced by the Habitual Criminal Statue to give Reginald a mandatory natural life sentence because of two prior convictions of robbery. Although the conviction Reginald was being sentenced on was possession with intent to deliver. (That helps us to understand why Judge Kouri was reluctant to sentence his natural life. )During his trial, Larry( Reginald brother) testified that the drugs found in Larry's home belonged to him and Reginald had nothing to do with it. Larry was later sentenced to 14 years (the same judge rendered this sentence as well)in which was overturned shortly thereafter by an Appellate Court on April 23, 2015. ( See people vs Guice, 2015 Il App(3d) 130468-U) because the warrant lacked probable cause on its face. (The warrant served was for Reginald's brother home, in which Reginald never resided in.) Reginald is blocked from justice in all aspects. There’s no mistake that the biggest injustice was, and still is, the fact that a man has to die in prison. The sentencing disparity in this case, as Reginald spoke, is way beyond what should be accepted in any court of law. Judge Kouri agreed and stated “Well I got to tell you that I don’t disagree with you on that point. That’s why I made the statement I did but that’s what the law is and I’m required to follow it”. So I ask that you stand with me in solidarity with Reginald Guice in asking Governor Pritzker to commute his sentence through executive clemency. The Governor has the know-how and the ability to correct this unjustifiable and excessive sentence. We're asking Governor Pritzker to give Reginald a chance to live life again as a free man, productive member of society and an activist for bettering our communities. I will definitely go beyond what Reginald said at sentencing and say that this is way beyond what should be accepted by society, the legislature and the Governor. #freereggieguice@yahoo.com

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