|To the editor:
My brother Weldon Angelos is a talented musician, producer, and loving father. But for the past 10 years his kids have grown up without their dad because he's serving a mandatory 55-year sentence in prison for a nonviolent marijuana offense.
Weldon's judge wanted to sentence him to just one day in prison for three small-time marijuana sales, but because an informant testified that he saw a gun, which wasn't used or displayed, federal law forced him to issue a mandatory minimum 55-year sentence. The judge called it “unjust, cruel, and irrational.” But he had no choice.
The judge is hopeful that justice still can be served for my brother -- he wrote a letter that strongly recommends President Obama commute Weldon's sentence, and over 100 people signed his request in support -- including former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and a prominent Republican Senator.
I started a petition on Change.org because I believe the momentum to free Weldon could pressure the President to grant him clemency. Please sign my petition asking Pardoning Attorney Ronald L. Rodgers to recommend that President Obama commute the remainder of Weldon's sentence.
Weldon made the mistake of selling marijuana and deserves to serve some time, but his sentence is longer than those imposed for three aircraft hijackings, three second-degree murders, three kidnappings, and three rapes. Now, significant public support for the President to pardon him is the only chance Weldon has of getting out of prison before he's 70-years-old.