Mississippi Man Sentenced To 12 Years For Having Cellphone In Jail

There is a deeply disturbing ruling out of Mississippi where the state supreme court affirmed the sentence of Willie Nash for having a cellphone in the Newton County Jail. He received an absurd 12-year sentence. The decision not only shows how our criminal justice system continues to disproportionate sentencing but also how the Eighth Amendment has been effectively gutted as a tool to address such cases.

Willie Nash was booked in the Newton County Jail for a misdemeanor charge and he clearly did not understand that it was a crime to have the phone since he asked a jailer to charge his smartphone. The phone was confiscated and turned over to the sheriff. While Nash first denied ownership, the phone was unlocked when Nash gave the sheriff deputy his code. It found photos from the jail.

Mississippi Code Section 47-5-193, prohibits inmates from possessing “any weapon, deadly weapon, unauthorized electronic device, contraband item, or cell phone or any of its components or accessories to include, but not limited to, Subscriber Information Module (SIM) cards or chargers.” Even on the low end, the crime is severely punished at three years. It could result in as much as 15 years. The trial judge bizarrely gave Nash 12 years. It was a failure of both prosecutorial and judicial discretion, but it was still within the range of discretion. Thus, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the sentence.

The Court could have distinguished under 47-5-193 between deadly weapons and phones in the range of sentencing. However, it is not expressly required. In other words, it is a matter of discretion. Presiding Justice Leslie D. King wrote that he felt locked into the language but that the the case “seems to demonstrate a failure of our criminal justice system on multiple levels.”

King wrote:

“Cases like Nash’s are exactly why prosecutors and judges are given wide discretion. Nash served his time for his previous convictions and stayed out of trouble with the law for many years. He has a wife and three children who rely on him. His crime was victimless, and the facts of the case lend themselves to an interpretation that his crime was accidental and likely caused by a failure in booking procedures. Nash did not do anything nefarious with his phone, and he certainly did not hide his phone from law enforcement. While I do not think this Court can find under the law that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing, it is a case in which, in my opinion, both the prosecutor and the trial court should have taken a more rehabilitative, rather than punitive, stance.”

That is an understatement where an inmate voluntarily hands over his phone and then agrees to unlock it. While he had a record, King noted that Nash showed signs of rehabilitation and has a wife and children.

The case is an outrage caused by a trial judge who failed to exercise a modicum of judgment or proportionality in sentencing. The result is a travesty of justice.

Nash’s tentative release date is Feb. 2, 2029.

Here is the opinion: Nash v. State of Mississippi

216 thoughts on “Mississippi Man Sentenced To 12 Years For Having Cellphone In Jail”

  1. I think the length of his sentence of 12 years is terrible. I am a white woman 80 years old and I still think that sentence is wrong. Please reconsider his sentence. He has a wife and 3 children that depends on him.i ask this in the name of my Jesus. GOD BLESS

      1. Write to Tate Reeves, Governor of Mississippi, requesting that he immediately commute this outrageous sentence. Suggest to Color of Change, etc., that they start petitions to the Governor requesting the same.

  2. 12 years for a phone is ridiculous, as is lumping it together with deadly weapons. He did not use the phone to put a hit on anyone. It appears he didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to have it, as well as a serious breakdown in intake pat downs.

    As a layperson, the foundation of jurisprudence is the time has to fit the crime.

    This is wrong. Will he keep appealing? Legislators need to fix this law.

    1. Some killers don’t get that much. Some child molester don’t get that much. What is wrong?

  3. His lawyer should have counseled his client to wear a MAGA t-shirt in court. That judge would get a phone call in a New York minute as soon as Trump seen it on FOX.

    1. Trump has helped incarcerated people who are not Trump supporters. As you were probably aware when you implied he’d only help someone wearing MAGA.

      1. Really? Who? When? Where? How many of these extremely unlikely people are there? After all Trump is well known, regarded and understood to have zero empathy for other people.

        1. A$AP Rocky

          Karen will tell you all about him. He did nothing wrong, according to Karen.

            1. In the first place, everyone that is incarcerated, didn’t do the crime. No1. When did jailers stop stripping inmates and searching them. 2 it was the people in charge that made the error. To give a man,12 yrs is inhuman Especially when it’s the Facility fault. The judge gets paid for Everyone and then goes to jail. They are buying and selling prisoners and especially people of color. God is going to make sure before this judge leave this world to receive three times, more Cruelty than he has poured out on this man.God is not mocked.

              1. I’m on your side. The first comment on this thread was mine. Then I started getting attacks for it. But I suppose you are talking about my defense of our President. I am a Trump supporter and proud to be. But there seems to be confusion about a Republican being against racism. I do believe this young man received a sentence that was ridiculous and I’ll always believe that. I hope some compassionate attorney fights this pro bono.

          1. You have a really weird obsessive animosity for a black rapper. I came to my opinion based on the video evidence. Did you want him shot by firing squad or something?

            1. “ASAP Rocky case: Rapper found guilty of assault”


              (The judges (I think there were four) likely saw the available “video evidence” as well. It’s not about Rocky, Karen, it’s about the way you argue, reason, and reach your faulty/biased conclusions.)

        2. Everyone knows Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, Joe Arpaio, and Scooter Libby, but did you know…

          Trump prison reform:


          “Justice Department officials announced Friday that 3,100 inmates are being released from federal prisons nationwide because of a change in how their good-behavior time is calculated — a significant step, they said, in the implementation of a new criminal justice reform law.”

          No MAGA hat required.

          Clemency granted:

          Jack Johnson – boxer, convicted by an all-white jury in 1913 for traveling with his white girlfriend. It was then illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes

          Dwight and Stephen Hammond -Father and son were convicted of arson in 2012. While initially sentenced to time served, their sentence was increased in 2015 to the mandatory 5-year minimum term under federal law.[20] The increased sentence triggered protests which culminated in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge.[21] The Hammonds had rejected the protesters’ assistance

          Roy Wayne McKeever -After being arrested for transporting marijuana from Mexico to Oklahoma, he immediately accepted responsibility and plead guilty to one count of using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of a controlled substance

          Rodney Takumi – While working a gambling parlor, he was arrested during a law enforcement raid

          Michael Tedesco -Former president Barack Obama pardoned him in 2017, but due to a clerical error, his fraud conviction was not encompassed within that grant of executive clemency.

          Chalmer Lee Williams – Participated in and was convicted of several crimes related to the theft and sale of stolen firearms. Upon arrest, he immediately accepted responsibility for his actions. In light of his impeccable behavior while serving his sentence, his supervised release terminated one year early, and in 1998, the governor of Kentucky restored his voting rights

          Matthew Golsteyn -On December 13, 2018, Golsteyn, then serving as a major in the United States Army, was charged with the murder of a suspected bomb-maker in Afghanistan in 2010, following an interview in which he admitted to killing the man.[30] At the time of the pardon, Golsteyn’s case had not yet gone to trial.

          Kristian Saucier -Saucier was given an other-than-honorable discharge from the Navy for taking photos in a military submarine.[8] At sentencing, Saucier unsuccessfully argued for probation rather than imprisonment on the basis that Hillary Clinton was not indicted for her email controversy

          Commuted Sentences:

          Sholom Rubashkin – bank fraud
          Alice Marie Johnson – life sentence for money laundering and conspiracy to possess coke
          Ronen Nahmani – conspiracy to distribute synthetic drugs
          Ted Suhl – bribery – Ran faith-based behavioral healthcare treatment centers for juveniles in Arkansas. Allegedly participated in a bribery scheme to increase Medicaid payments to his company. Federal prosecutors in Arkansas declined to pursue the case, but prosecutors in Washington decided to move forward with the prosecution. Found guilty of half the charges filed against him, he was sentenced to seven years in prison

          1. Karen S – you mean to tell me Obama pardoned someone and forget one of the crimes? That is a scandal!!!!

        3. knock it off. what the hell is wrong with people. let’s get him out of jail and then you can fight like morons. what total jerks.

          i do have a idea what we can do: contact every major news outlet, every radio talk show, trump, governor of miss and pester the hell out of them until he’s released

        4. https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/455183-trump-announces-pardons-and-sentence-commutations-for-seven-people

          “President Trump on Monday commuted the sentences of two nonviolent criminals and granted pardons to five others who previously pleaded guilty to nonviolent crimes but have completed their sentences.

          The White House announced that Trump commuted the sentence of Ronen Nahmani, who was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to distribute a synthetic drug known as spice.

          The White House said Nahmani was a first-time offender with no prior criminal history who has five young children at home and a wife battling terminal cancer. The release also noted his case for an early release received support from bipartisan lawmakers.

          Trump also commuted the sentence of Ted Suhl, an Arkansas man who was convicted in 2016 on four counts of bribery after prosecutors said he took part in a scheme to increase Medicaid payments to his company.

          Suhl appealed the ruling, but it was upheld, and he intended to file for an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. The White House noted his “spotless disciplinary record” while incarcerated and highlighted his support from former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins.

          In addition, Trump granted executive clemency to five people.

          The president pardoned John Richard Bubala, who pleaded guilty in 1990 to improper use of federal government property by transferring automotive equipment to the town of Milltown, Ind.

          Trump also pardoned Roy Wayne McKeever, who pleaded guilty in 1989 after he was arrested for transporting marijuana from Mexico to Oklahoma. McKeever was 19 at the time and served one year in jail.

          Rodney Takumi received a pardon for a conviction over a 1987 arrest while he was working at an illegal gambling parlor. Takumi now owns a tax preparation franchise within the Navajo Nation, the White House said.

          Trump granted clemency to Michael Tedesco, who was convicted in 1990 of drug trafficking and fraud. Former President Obama had pardoned Tedesco in 2017, but the fraud conviction remained on his record due to a clerical error. Trump’s pardon will remove that charge, allowing Tedesco to obtain state licenses needed for his business.

          The president also pardoned Chalmer Lee Williams, who was convicted in 1995 of several crimes related to theft of firearms and checked luggage during his time as a baggage handler. Williams served four months in prison and two years of supervised release. His voting rights in Kentucky were restored in 1998, the White House said.

          “Through these full and unconditional pardons, the Federal rights of these men, including the right to vote and the right to bear arms, have been fully restored,” the White House said in a statement. “Today, they are once again full and equal citizens under the law.”

          With Monday’s announcements, Trump has now pardoned or reduced the sentences of 19 individuals since taking office.”

  4. He’s black. This is Mississippi. You’re surprised that he’s getting a raw deal?

    1. Well it’s too bad. It would be closer to a social optimum if we swap him for you. You might get a chance to lose some weight on prison fare.

    2. “He’s black. This is Mississippi. You’re surprised that he’s getting a raw deal?”
      Yeah, natacha why don’t you explain so we can see you’re reasoning. Try to avoid references to the 60s South. And tell us every person you think is a racist in this story. Names please.

    3. I don’t discount what you’re saying. I will will point out that there are plenty of fair skinned, mostly lower-income, people who know what it’s like to get screwed like this.

      And let me just speculate that the enabling law here was supported by Democrats — whose social criminal legislation is a driving in force in incarcerating lower-income people.

  5. 1950 — student drives up to his school. On the back of his truck is his shotgun he used over the weekend for some hunting. The Principal passes by. He sees it. “Hey is that new?” he asks. “Just got it last month.” the student replies. “Mind if I take a look at it?” the Principal asks. “Pretty nice. Well I guess you better get to class.”

    2020- student drives up to his school. Principal sees shotgun in back. SWAT teem is called. Student is hauled away. Is found to have committed a “violent crime” is required to attend weeks of therapy. Meanwhile, Martha who brought a knife in her lunch box to spread cheese on her crackers is hauled off for brining a weapon to school. Suspended for two weeks.

    1950 — A couple of guys get into a shoving match over who was first in line for tickets at the movie theater. Patrol officer tells them to knock it off.

    2020 — a couple of guys get into a shoving match over who was first in line at the movie theater. Both charged with “aggravated assault.”

    As you can see, the “crime rate” has gone up significantly since 1950.

    Let’s apply 1950 to the current matter at hand — variations of which happen all the time now by the way. It looks like Turley’s main complaint is that the inmate should have gotten something like 3 years.

    Officer sees inmate with cell phone. “Hey, that should have been taken at booking.” Inmate hands over phone. Officer walks away. Nothing else happens.

    1. SteveJ – when I was working as a correctional officer in the mid 60s, I would have taken the phone and put it with his personal property.

        1. Mr Kurtz – I worked with juveniles for a summer. It was very educational. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. It is now a minimum security facility adult prison because it is 45 miles to the closest town.

    2. 2020 — a couple of guys get into a shoving match over who was first in line at the movie theater. Both charged with “aggravated assault.”

      In your imagination. That’s no guide to public policy.

      1. “In your imagination.”

        Well that’s the crux of the matter. For some reason you don’t think certain laws have become more broadly interpreted and added on to.

        A pretty simple google search shows that the murder rate was 30 per 100,000 in 1700, going down to 20 in 1800 going down to 10 in 1900 and is at 5 per 100,000 now. Yet we have an exponentially increasing prison system.

          1. I don’t believe there were any cars in 1700 mespo. But there were people. So you can do a rate.
            The rate of increase in prisons should correlate with the rate of increase or in this case decrease in actual crime. That didn’t happen here.

            Rather the notions and definitions of “crime” changed. And just coincidentally it created more lawyers and assisted the government and the various prison systems along with the businesses who profit from them in expanding.

            1. I have been reading post after post ànd virtually NONE of them have any thing to do with the story of the Man getting 12 years for a cellphone. THIS is a local and state matter get off the I Hate / I love Trump wagon.

          2. Assuming that the historical numbers for murder rates presented by Steve J. are correct, the murder rate was far higher in the days before modern firearms were available.
            So comparing the murder rate in the days of the Kentucky Long Rifle to the AR-15 and high capacity Glocks of today, people were knocking others at a much higher rate with flintlocks (or swords or clubs or axes).
            You could also link the lower murder rate now with the relatively high number of those incarcerated.
            Leaving aside the idiocy of giving someone 15 years because of they had a cell phone, keeping serious offenders off the streets may be a factor in the lower crime rate.
            So if there is an argument made that we are unnecessarily locking up far too many people because the murder rate is much lower today, we can turn that argument around and say it’s lower because of a relatively high rate of incarceration.
            In reality, there are so many variables involved that it’s overly simplistic to draw conclusions ( like the examples above, or Steve J.’s) based on linking a couple of historical statistics.

        1. A pretty simple google search shows that the murder rate was 30 per 100,000 in 1700,

          You might have some critical distance from that sort of contention.

        2. There’s big money in the incarceration racket. No one is safer but some people are a lot richer. Even more rip-off in the prison business than Big Pharma’s price escalations. Private prisons, public prisons; it does not matter.

          1. There’s big money in the incarceration racket.

            There isn’t. Private contractors account for about 5% of the inmate census. That’s somewhat north of $4 bn in revenues in a $20 tn dollar economy.

    3. Look at all the progress we have made….of course “progress” is kind of a nonsense idea anyway, humans elevating, getting better and better, uplifted and similar nonsense.

  6. “5th inmate dead since Sunday following multiple riots in Miss. prisons, according to MDOC” -News Break

    By WMCActionNews5.com

    Staff | January 3, 2020 at 9:09 AM CST – Updated January 3 at 12:17 PM


    SUNFLOWER COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) – Two inmates have now died at the Mississippi State Penitentiary within 24 hours following riots, according to our NBC-affiliate WTVA.

    A riot is reported to have started around 3 a.m. in Unit 29 of Parchman Prison Friday. WTVA says, 36-year-old Denorris Howell was confirmed to be deceased by the Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton due to a stabbing.

    He was serving 17 years for manslaughter.

    A second inmate was also injured during the stabbing. That person has not been identified.

    This is the fifth inmate death in Mississippi since Sunday.

  7. Here We Wade Into The Issue Of States Rights

    When Ronald Reagan embarked on Campaign 1980, his basic stump speech asserted that State Governments have a better idea of how to handle local affairs than Federal Regulators. In fact Reagan famously gave a speech like that in Mississippi, of all places. Mainstream media, at that time, speculated that Reagan was making a not so subtle attempt to appeal to former ‘Dixiecrats’ (White segregationists who had formerly voted Democrat).

    Today the Republican Party controls the vast majority of southern states. And Republicans are still partial to the argument that ‘states know better that the federal government’. But this case from Mississippi reminds us that certain states are racist, and, or incompetent in matters concerning justice, education, social welfare, environmental regulations, etc.

    The truth is that a muscular Federal Government is needed as a check on State Governments. Yet currently the Trump Administration is racing to undo environmental regulations. This mischievous action by Trump could allow corrupt, and, or, incompetent states to let industrial interests pollute vital waterways with far-reaching consequences. Anyone who thinks this case in Mississippi is unjust should be worried about Trump’s war on the environment.

    1. ridiculous comment. a state is not “racist”

      a state can have a different culture which is more or less ethnocentric and that is not necessarily bad

      you guys would abolish the system of federalism altogether if you could, wouldn’t you?

      that would make tyranny even more feasible, you could enact your crazy social engineering schemes more easily, or so you believe ! you’d be able to go down to every backwater and cram your ideas down other people’s throats!

      easy solution for folks out there to slow this down: don’t vote for the Democrats!

      and see how they take one crazy decision and extrapolate it wildly

      1. Kurtz, are you at Pippens for the Early Bird Specials? Your comment here is somewhat garbled. Just because they offer Early Bird Specials doesnt mean you have to take advantage.

        1. no the idea is that decentralized government is a check on tyranny., that’s a bedrock concept of constitutional law in america so its plenty germane to the blog and your comment calling for napoleonic centralization

          that’s the political theory context maybe you didn’t get, so, just spelling it out more clearly, sorry

      2. From Washington Post Coverage Of Same Case:

        Mississippi’s statute targeting prohibited items in correctional facilities ranks among the strictest in the country. The law treats cellphones, SIM cards and even chargers the same as drugs or deadly weapons. Prisoners face a minimum of three years and a maximum of 15 years in prison if they are caught with the devices.

        Federal law is less severe by comparison, allowing a maximum sentence of one year’s imprisonment for contraband cellphones. In some states, cellphone possession by inmates is not a crime punishable by prison time.

        Edited from: “He Got 12 Years For Having A Cell Phone In Jail. Judge Says He Was Fortunate”

        Today’s Washington Post

    2. The truth is that a muscular Federal Government is needed as a check on State Governments.

      President Trump will appreciate your support when he directs his administration to swoop into California and arrest everyone in government not upholding the rule of law.

      1. Yeah Olly, that will happen when Trump wins a landslide victory in November.

      2. I disagree. If California has their way we will all live without guns, bibles, Walmart (where all we smelly people shop), plastic straws, and taxes are so high we will all be homeless. Under Trump there are jobs and investments have been paying great dividends. We need the boost here in Texas to pay for the influx of the exodus from California. We have no State income tax here.

        1. PR,
          It was sarcasm. Shill (Seth) is an LA county resident that supports this state’s socialist directives.

    3. One has nothing to do with the other as an opposite except as fallaciously joined in your comment or whoever wrote it in a clear attempt to turn one thing into another. Face it. The left has no business in discussions or debates which require clear objective thinking and presentation. As for the Green well jealousy is also green and is usually s’not relative to the discussion

  8. here’s another thing. DIDNT THEY SEARCH HIM?

    normally it’s butt-check and the whole obnoxious 9 years

    don’t blame him the jailers are fools and didn’t even check his pockets!

  9. the inmates have phones and use them even more than they do drugs and shivs.

    this was a a bad, excessive sentence, that much is clear.

  10. People are getting side-tracked here yammering about race and about the man’s character. The latter isn’t all that salient and the former isn’t of any consequence here.

    1. If he’s guilty of burglary, sentence him for that.

    2. If he’s guilty of being unlawfully armed, sentence him for that.

    3. If he’s got contraband, sentence him for that.

    4. Enhance the sentence according to formulae which have as an argument therein points awarded for previous convictions.

    5. Don’t given him an absurd sentence for picking his nose because he has a history of burglary.

  11. 1. Half assedness by the state legislature in constructing the statute
    2. Absurd refusal to exercise prosecutorial discretion
    3. Idiot sentencing schedule
    4. Weak system or negligence in re executive clemency.

    State legislatures need to do their jobs. Which they refuse to. You’re expecting the 8th Amendment, which is too vague to guide any honest judge, to do the work here.

    Another example of anarcho-tyranny.

    1. The government tends to move in one direction, to expand and ask for more money based on their increased need due to their expansion. In this regard, the judicial branch is no different from the executive branch. Although for some reason, we as an electorate have been putting up with it lately.

      1. Judiciary budgets are a tiny sliver of state and federal expenditure. The prison budget is large, but not more than 1% of GDP, if that. The dimension of the prison budget is not the problem here. Stay focused.

        1. I’m not sure what you mean by judiciary budgets, but mass incarceration is costing about 200 billion dollars per year. It’s big business. And the companies involve make campaign contributions.

          1. mass incarceration is costing about 200 billion

            That’s 1% of GDP, and it’s an inherently a state function.

              1. Excuse me, but there is no substitute for a publicly maintained prison system, and it’s a basic function, just not one libertarians like because they’re determined to be unserious on these questions.

                As for financing medical care, there are alternative models. We’ve also faced a couple of generations of escalating social allocations to the medical sector. That has a number of causes, but socialization of costs with insufficient rationing methods is one cause.

                And, as noted elsewhere in the thread, expenditure on prisons and allied services accounts for 0.44% of gdp.

          2. While we’re at it, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report last fall on expenditures of different components of the legal system on the federal level and state-and-local-level for calendar year 2016. Correctional expenditures amounted to about $89 bn. Total expenditures on prisons, police, and courts summed to $296 bn, or about 1.5% of gdp. Again, libertarians are hostile to law enforcement per se.

        2. IS it part of GDP. GDP is gross production AND IS only one half of the formula. The whole formula is GDP minus overhead (which includes jail operations) equals NDP. If you can’t state it correctly don’t use it.

          An example of fallacious mathematics is the 9.3 trillion debt load of Obama which doubled the national debt WITHOUT adding the cost of his devaluation of the worth of the dollar of 30% A slickster could put those numbers together of let’s say 18 trillion minus 30% which reduces the national debt that amount in OBama debt and also in al other debt.

          Thus 18 becomes 12 point six or six point three previous and six point three total of 12 point six in terms of adjustment for value of the dollar. The part left out pun intended again.

          Furthermore the comment co mingled Treasury, CBO and the final figure of loss of buying power is Treasury again

          Probably where the left got the robust ec0nomy PC-Rap from in the last gasp last place.

          Figures can lie and liars can figure is another old but true saying and it only takes dropping partial information from different co-mingled sources here and there to become an urban myth.

          Enough of it and pretty soon you are taking real Schumuckley
          Putz Pelosism

          Aided and abetted by RINOs and DINOs

    2. Question? Is that your State? If so do something about it. If not….. .is it somehow federal business or are you anti States Rights? And how does that fit in with the fourth branch of government illegally saddling the citizens with a bunch of laws and regulations not approved by Congress?

    1. Rubbish. The mean time served in state prisons for a criminal charge is 30 months, and 60% of those convicted do no time.

        1. No, most of those people are recidivist offenders. About 50% of those in state and federal prisons were convicted on a bill for which the top count was a violent crime. About 30% were so for a property crime. About 20% for a drug crime.

          When people bleat about ‘mass incarceration’, they’re real objection is to incarceration per se.

          1. Recidivist offenders of what? The person I detailed committed a “violent crime.” And the data records him as such.

            1. Examine the survey research on the frequency of homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, and forcible rape and then get back to me.

              1. Some years ago the CATO Foundation did a study on police crime. The end was the amount of police involved hovered around 1.5% average for all categories of crime as per amount of police. CATO further discovered those same figures were very close to the national average as a percentage of all residents. 1.5% That included everything in all local and State plus federal levels.

                Those are the most accurate figures I’ve ever seen excluding violations of the Congressional Oath of Office by elected officials or the implementation of laws and regulations by the fourth branch of government which has Judicial, Legislative and Executive powers – all three.

                The over regulating is being cleaned up until Congress passed them into law and they pass Presidential Signature AND any followup judicial procedure or for that matter anything the rogue judges of the circuit courts use to singlehandedly try to dictate to the nation.

        2. 1-10 for violation of the NFA and usually they demand incarceration on the first offense

          most people who shoot would love to see suppressors legalized including myself, without a special license, but to be fair the licensing procedure is pretty simple and the tax is modest.

          now one could dig up some pretty crazy silencer cases, but, I’ll leave that to GOA who gets paid by their donors to complain about it. I dont.

  12. Turley, without inmates, there would be pressure to close some of the prisons.. Do you know how many businesses depend on outsourcing from the government as well as private prisons in this area? Our economy would collapse overnight.

    1. To refrain from 12 year sentences for prison contraband isn’t going to empty the prisons.

      Libertarians are fools.

  13. People ought to mail packages with diseases in them to all the judges and prosecutors involved. Its only salmanella!

  14. (music to tune of Sam Stone came home..)
    Jim Crow… Stays home…
    With his Klan and family!
    After lynching all the people that they see.

    And Crow takes to stealing..
    When he’s got that empty feeling..
    Southern frame of mind..without overtime!

  15. Constitutionally speaking, the JIm Crow era was about “unconstitutional authoritarianism”. Local officials perceiving themselves to be above the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on constitutionality – above “the supreme law of the land” [Article VI of the U.S. Constitution]. These type of authoritarian officials perceive themselves to be above the law, not constitutionally oath-sworn officials bound by laws and bound by the Constitution. It’s the same authoritarian mindset as the original Jim Crow.

    1. And most of the violations were committed by one party and one party only.

  16. This is truly outrageous. Is there anything that anyone can do to remedy it?

    1. Yeah, I’d reinvestigate him for the additional burglaries and send up for more time. The average burglar gets caught for 1 of the 6 burglaries he commits.

        1. Michael S Pickert MD – there was a study done, probably in the 1970s, that showed that the longer an attorney stayed a prosecutor the more prosecutorial minded they became. And the longer they were a defense attorney, the more defense minded they became.

          1. Isn’t that the basic premise behind Maslow’s Hammer?

            I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.

            How is a prosecutor measured as successful? Same question for the defense. After watching House Democrats butcher due process, clearly justice in this country is as capricious as ever.

            1. they are measured by conviction rates

              but that’s misleading as oftentimes they plead out the hard cases which sometimes need to go to trial the most, just to boost their rates falsely

              1. It’s not difficult to design a more valid metric. Just not something lawyers do.

                1. well im not that creative. maybe, probably, you are. so please, feel free to spell out your good ideas, you have done it before with more attenuated topics, here’s your chance to catch the eyes

              2. they are measured by conviction rates

                Thanks K. Having the title of prosecutor seems to be a self-defining measure. W. Edwards Deming coined the phrase: Expect what you inspect. As DSS stated, we need a more valid metric.

            2. House Democrats shredded the Constitution. I’m praying there is a way to obliterate their argument in the Senate and nail Schiff for fraud on America. Our tax dollars are paying for their greed and hatred.

        2. Doc, what you call being “judgmental” allows you to sleep safely in your bed at night. I said “reinvestigate,” not “punish for.” I’m betting he did a lot more than he was charged with.

          1. And, you have the gall to criticize me for mentioning that being black and this being Mississippi, that it’s not surprising that he’s getting a raw deal. So in defense of this ridiculous incarceration for a nonexistent crime, you think he should be investigated to see if they can come up with something else to justify this abuse of justice? See, dude, those facts didn’t exist and didn’t figure into the sentence at the time, so that is no defense. Yeah, you’re a Trumpster all right.

            1. NAtch you’re clueless, they throw the book at everybody in Miss., however they spell it

              “Parchman farm” however was pretty tough. those days are long over.

              look it up Natch… book named “Worse than Slavery”

              those were the old days not now

          1. Hey Phyl:

            You ever plan to tell us about your personal experiences — or even some valid research –that makes you call all of Mississippi racially prejudiced? Thought we forgot?

            Maybe you’re still stuck in the 60s, or hate Mississippians or maybe you have no earthly idea what you’re talking about. I’m guessing you’ll resort to that fallacy of fallacies: “it’s just obvious!

              1. PR:
                “Keep talking. I know you love to hear yourself and probably believe you’ve wowed an audience with your brilliance.’
                Never claimed brilliance just cold rational thought. That you don’t “keep talking” about your basis tells me your opinions are made up of whole cloth or emotions. Either way, you don’t get any credibility around here. Enter the natacha zone.

                1. Wake up! I don’t argue facts with bloviators who would stand with their pants on fire and die before budging. You are simply another bully on the block and you’re the only one who can’t see it. You remind me of the General played by Jack Nicholson yelling “You can’t handle the truth!” We all know what happened in that story. What does your arrest record look like?

                  1. PR:

                    “Wake up! I don’t argue facts with bloviators who would stand with their pants on fire and die before budging. You are simply another bully on the block and you’re the only one who can’t see it. You remind me of the General played by Jack Nicholson yelling “You can’t handle the truth!” We all know what happened in that story. What does your arrest record look like?”

                    You don’t argue facts at all. I’m still happy to consider any new information you care to proffer. You’ve offered none so far despite about 10 requests to do so. Since you offered the bigoted assertion, you get to prove it.

                    On the criminal side, I’m guessing my rap sheet looks a lot like yours with nothing on it since you, like me, held/hold a professional license. Oh and since we’re into games of reminder, you remind me of that sweet woman I see on the street near our office following her cats around and talking to them about how good it was during the Kennedy Administration.

                    1. When you say things like people with professional licenses do not commit crimes your naivety astounds me.

                      Reread his comment and you’ll discover that is not what he said. He said people without a rap sheet like you and Mark, held/hold a professional license. Meaning, those with a rap sheet typically don’t hold a license or have lost it.

                    2. Phyllis Rogers – I think his point is that you have to be fairly squeaky clean to get the licence. We all know people who have screwed up after getting it and either been suspended or lost their license.

                    3. That sounds reasonable. But I wouldn’t expect him to get awards on communication. I started to send a link to an article on NBC.com dated May of 2019 about “Mississippi has a racist way of choosing governors.” But I started getting tickled by his rant and decided against it. I grew up with a brother I could go toe to toe with arguing sarcastically. I miss my brother. He died in 2011. So I’ve been using him as a surrogate. I’ve actually been having fun. So we can play or not play. I don’t take too much seriously anymore. I’m a senior and retired with a lot of time on my hands.

                    4. Phyllis Rogers – some people it is better not to poke with a sharp stick. 😉

                    5. Phyllis Rogers – you are in no physical danger, but you and Mark are generally on the same side so it is silly for you the two of you to be fighting. Is this the hill you want to die on?

                  2. Phyllis Rogers – Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) appreciates the promotion. 😉

                  3. Lake Palestine Texas, LBJ country, a location not known for oil wells but not its progressive attitudes, but i guess y’all are like mushrooms these days

                    it was in Rusk county that I learn’t what a “high yeller” was once on vacation lolz

                    1. Maybe you need to read the top blog on my site. And my ancestors founded the State of Texas. My third maternal great grandfather signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. One of my paternal great grandfathers fought with Sam Houston when they captured Santa Anna. I was born in Pasadena, Texas and lived there 26 years before moving to where I live now. There is not one liberal bone in my body but that doesn’t mean I have to be a racist.

                    2. No. We do have mineral rights to property in Palestine which is 45 minutes south of us, but no one has drilled on it yet. I do raise Mandarin ducks. So I’m into conservation. But I would allow drilling. My husband used to be a drilling fluids engineer for Halliburton before he sustained a life changing severe traumatic brain injury. So I’ve travelled to a lot of drilling sites.

                    3. oh you should have heard the stories I was told by an old lawyer down there. they all were all Democrats of course, and yes, oh, very conservative, and even i had to blush at some stories. then again i am a yankee by birth and upbringing

                      I’m familiar with Cherokee county, too

                      red dirt, tall pines, and so humid you can’t seem to dry off properly after a shower

                      anyways you have written some nice essays on your blog, i just checked them out. but, I warn you, we lack manners here, or at least, i do

  17. “That is an understatement where an inmate voluntarily hands over his phone and then agrees to unlock it. While he had a record, King noted that Nash showed signs of rehabilitation and has a wife and children.
    The case is an outrage caused by a trial judge who failed to exercise a modicum of judgment or proportionality in sentencing. The result is a travesty of justice.”
    Guess you forgot to explain what a great citizen Nash is:

    “Based on Nash’s prior burglary convictions, he could have been indicted as a habitual offender. This would have subjected him to a fifteen year sentence to be served day for day. Miss. Code Ann. § 99-19-81 (Supp. 2019). The trial court sentenced Nash below the statutory maximum to a term of twelve years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.”

    To those hoping for more leniency, here’s hoping you see that grateful smiling face staring down at you in the wee hours of the morning in your bedroom. Poor, poor Willie.

      1. Phyllis:
        To fully illustrate my point, let me be clear. Your unlettered, context-free remarks have vilified an entire state and its judiciary. It has also supported a cause celebre that might result in this guy getting out sooner and continuing his habitual crime spree which, with burglars, tends to escalate to robbery, rape and sometimes murder. Please continue to feel virtuous and a defender of the downtrodden and the rest of your innocent fellow citizens be damned. In some ways, you’re worse than Willie who at least admits what he is and what he is doing.

        1. Phyllis, for some reason some of the most prolific posters to JT’s comment section – mespo, TIA, and Allan – all suffer from severe anger management issues and inferiority complexes which usually results in their personally attacking those they disagree with.

          Don’t take it personally.

          1. oncebannedanon1:

            Yeah, we oughta be happy when subjected to stupid. For example, when I occasionally read your drivel, I laugh. That said, these soft hearted liberals have no problem unleashing a holocaust against the innocent to soothe their guilt-ridden psyches. It’s a mental disease I know but its infuriating to hear the victims’ stories and think about the dolts who caused them.

            1. Gainesville hasn’t an ounce of guilt and thinks well of himself. He just thinks prosecutors should concentrate on jailing social enemies and not Democratic Party clients.

          2. I only entertain him or her to draw out every ounce of hostility I can. If they release their venom on me perhaps they won’t beat their spouse tonight.

            1. Hey Phyl if you’re talking about me, you’ve just crossed the defamation line accusing someone of a crime. I’ll let you explain.

        2. Correct me if I’m wrong- You’ve been arguing it’s good practice for our judicial system to use one crime (possessing a cell phone in jail) to punish people for crimes you suspect, without evidence, they may have committed (additional burglaries) or gone on to commit (ROBBERY! RAPE! MURDER!).

            1. Careful anon, you’re close to a defamatory statement. I’ll pass it off as parody. BTW the only one who mentioned his race was you. It’s irrelevant to my analysis of him. It’s all about his prior record of habitual criminality.

          1. Brad:

            “Correct me if I’m wrong …”
            Okay, you’re wrong. I was arguing with pearl-clutching Phyllis about the propriety of the contraband sentence that did NOT include any potential crimes. I was explaining to her that most of these guys escalate their criminality and her sympathy was misplaced.

            That said and from a legal perspective: He was CONVICTED for having the cell phone. He is SENTENCED within the guidelines for his prior conduct including his propensity to reoffend. Since he’s a habitual offender already if only in fact, it’s a pretty good sign he’ll reoffend.

            Hope that clears it up.

            1. Yep, clears it up. You believe a 12-year sentence for having a cell phone, which was not used for nefarious purposes, while jailed for a misdemeanor, was proper because you feel there’s a “pretty good sign” he may re-offend unrelated crimes and possibly even become a murderer.

              1. Brad:

                “Yep, clears it up. You believe a 12-year sentence for having a cell phone, which was not used for nefarious purposes, while jailed for a misdemeanor, was proper because you feel there’s a “pretty good sign” he may re-offend unrelated crimes and possibly even become a murderer.”

                No, once again you ‘re in need of correction. I think he got a break not getting sentenced to fifteen years for the habitual burglar charge he richly deserved. Twelve is three years less than fifteen and within the sentencing range. Hope that parts the misty curtains of that clouded mind of yours.

                You cry a river for this criminal and won’t shed a tear for his victims – past, present and 12 years into the future. Like TIA says sometimes: “Thanks. It’s been an education.

              2. maybe i missed it in the text but was the sentence concurrent with any other offenses? sometimes people don’t get that happens a lot and doesnt add up to much extra time in the end

            2. His attorney didn’t caution him on what to have or not have. ACLUeless strikes again.

        3. If you believe I accept your abuse you are wrong. The world is filled with those who condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I’m sorry you are so miserable.

          1. Phyllis:
            Abuse Is not showing you your error of discrimination against a whole state; the abuse is the discrimination against a whole state. I’m not miserable at all. You’ve got the nonfactual prejudices.

              1. LOL! Well there’s a winning argument. At least you didn’t waste much time with the lesser claim that he’s a poo poo head. Thanks for playing.

              2. Phyllis:
                You forgot homophobe, xenophobe, and transphobe since you’re into non-factual slurs on people. And like anon1 up there, you’re dangerously close to defamation but I’ll pass it off to being hoisted on your own petard so high, you’re mind is suffering anoxia.

                    1. i”ll send them to your gym. review them while you’re working on shedding pork…

                    2. Anonymous;

                      Bring ’em to the YMCA. They have a boxing ring we can use. I’m up for a round or two against a sniveling coward who insults with impunity do to his anonymity.

                    3. Mespo whose Xmas present goes “bang” (paraphrasing mespo) said:

                      “I’m up for a round or two against a sniveling coward who insults with impunity do (sic) to his anonymity.”

                      Ah, mespo, you ought to know that I’m a lover not a fighter.

                    4. A “chicken,” mespo?

                      Any lawyer worth his or her salt wouldn’t be jumping to conclusions. Oh, wait…”not worth his salt”…

                  1. PR:

                    “Oh my! I do believe I’m going to faint!”
                    If you did, you’d be more coherent.

                    So, in summary, you can’t or won’t explain or attempt to prove your bigoted statement that Mississippi has lingering racial prejudices. You have no reasons why a guy who got 12 years instead of the 15 he admittedly deserved is really the victim of racial animus. And you’ve struck up a lovely comradeship with a poster whose been banned once already for inappropriate comments. I’d say that’s a dolt trifecta for anyone.

                1. too much iron and sulphur in the water down in east texas maybe, affecting cognition

                  tap water often stinks like hell there from recollection

                    1. no i was on a cattle ranch with a big house with columns out front on the porch. kind of silly but I loved them anyways. the fancy house still had water that stank like rotten eggs. east of tyler ways from your lake

                      they used to have “col’ert” field hands till they found out how inexpensive Mexicans were & muy simpatico too

                      i think they’d give the baddies you think live in Mississippi a run for their money

                    2. Sorry you had that experience. Texas does have a Public Utilities Commission. I’ve never had to complain but My water company adheres to the law and routinely sends quality control reports to their customers. I’ve been here for 20 years and around the rural Tyler area including here for 42 years.

    1. Justice King notes on the record that Nash was last convicted of burglary in 2001 and was released in 2008. He had not been arrested since except for the misdemeanor charge and now has a wife and children dependent on him. He also notes that the details of his booking procedures were murky and that officer did not testify.

        1. And what did he burglarize? Perhaps he stole a hammer from a neighbors garage when they weren’t home? A misdemeanor can be opening a beer in a convenience store parking lot. Don’t be Adam Schiff and make up “facts “

          1. What happened here is a travesty.., but I’d still like to know why he was arrested.

          2. PR:

            “Don’t be Adam Schiff and make up “facts “
            You win the irony award, today.
            Perhaps …? or perhaps it was a felony pleaded down to a misdemeanor. Let’s all engage in speculation to prove our case. It’s a legal blog, Phyllis. You do have to know at least some real facts before you sally forth with an opinion.

              1. PR:

                It does. What’s your point — if you can hastily think of one? Oh and thanks, I used to think all nurses were smart, rational thinkers. You’ve convinced me at least one isn’t.

                1. Cute. My point is you claim nurses don’t belong on a site you believe only the highest minds in the legal field should be on. Turley doesn’t require that. He knows there are too many Avenattis out there. So I won’t leave on your account.

                  1. PR:

                    “Cute. My point is you claim nurses don’t belong on a site you believe only the highest minds in the legal field should be on. Turley doesn’t require that. He knows there are too many Avenattis out there. So I won’t leave on your account.”


                    Never said that or anything like that. Like your Mississippi prejudice it’s in your imagination. We’ve had lots of rational nurses on this site and i always appreciated their views especially on medical or medico-legal issues. They always were fact-based arguers. You’re the outlier. As for leaving, please stay. maybe you’ll learn how to support a position with facts. We’re into remedial argumentation skills here.

                  1. Olly:

                    True but we’ve had others. Natacha is a mystery so I didn’t include her. A lot are liberal but at least they were evidence based.

              2. Phyllis Rogers – Flowers for Socrates is better known as Posies for Plato. 😉

      1. Oh, counselor-in-your-mind:

        “He also notes that the details of his booking procedures were murky and that officer did not testify.”
        He pleaded guilty to the possession charge. He just appealed the sentence. Why would the booking officer testify? BTW he could have been subpoenaed by Willie or his lawyer. Wonder why he wasn’t if he had such exonerating evidence?

    2. mespo – as a repeat offender, he damn well knows a cell phone is not allowed. And he took photos of the interior of the jail. I have no problem with the sentence.

      1. heavy sentences like this for trivial things makes jails more un-governable, not less. you get people locked up who have zero concern for the rules whatsoever, because they think they’re just going to be locked up fore-ever anyhow

        heavy sentences need to be reserved for heavy wrongdoings

        1. “heavy sentences need to be reserved for heavy wrongdoings” (Mr. Kurtz)


        1. Obama only insulted religious people and gun owners. No geographic reference, so it’s totes OK.

      1. I’m a life long Texas resident. I just don’t pretend there isn’t a problem with prejudice when the Supreme Court of Mississippi upholds this travesty of ruining a young man’s life when I believe if he were White he probably would only have received 3 years. I am White but believe this is wrong.

        1. “I just don’t pretend there isn’t a problem with prejudice when the Supreme Court of Mississippi upholds this travesty of ruining a young man’s life when I believe if he were White he probably would only have received 3 years. I am White but believe this is wrong.”
          Any interest in Willie’s prior burglary record? See my comment above. Here’s hoping Willie makes a stop in Texas when some ACLU lawyer gets him out.

          You can believe anything you want; we only pay attention to what you can prove. I wanna know what “lingering substantial prejudices” you personally have observed to motivate your assertion. Please provide.

            1. Animals always miss in Mississippi. Too many s letters, too many i letters and too much pee.

    1. Tell me it doesn’t exist in the North or nationwide in certain political groups. The three types of socialists come to mind instantly.

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