A 41-year-old Baton Rouge was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison, to be followed by eight years of supervised release, for drug-related offenses. His story shows that authorities in Louisiana and elsewhere take drug violations very seriously, but it also shows that some people have no other choice in life but to go down a path they know is wrong.

The man was found guilty after a two-day trial in July of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Because he had two prior federal drug trafficking convictions, he is considered a “career offender,” which earned him a severe punishment.

Another way to look at a person like this man, however, is that he is a victim of the system. It is probably safe to say that most people who sell drugs would rather do something else to make a living, but they are forced into the line of work because they have no other way to make money. If this man came back to selling drugs three times after being harshly punished each time, he must have really lacked other options.

That is not to say he has an excuse for what he did. He should not have been selling crack cocaine. But it does speak to how hard it is for some people to stop their lives of crime and get back on the straight and narrow. Perhaps if we had more or better rehabilitation programs or diversion classes, we might see fewer cases like the one presented by this man.

Source: The Bayou Buzz, “Career offender sentenced to 30 years,” Feb. 3, 2012