An Austin Superior Court judge sentenced 34 year old Joseph Goldsmith to death row yesterday, after Goldsmith was picked up on his third offense for marijuana possession.
Judge Martin Churchill said during the trial that he had “already seen [Goldsmith] twice” and that “the third time was the charm.”
“If a man cannot get his act together, and he is arrested multiple times for the same crime, then I have no choice but to hand out the swiftest and harshest punishment I can.” Said Churchill. “In this case, the public needs to know how the state of Texas deals with repeat offenders, especially when they are drug-related crimes.”
“I cannot believe it. This is like a nightmare.” Said Goldsmith, in tears after the hearing. “It was just a couple of joints. This isn’t right.”Goldsmith, who has no other arrests on his report other than the previous two convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession, was visibly upset when the verdict was read.
Death - punishment for possession of one gram of marijuana
Goldsmith was arrested this third and final time with around a gram of marijuana in his possession. In several states throughout the U.S., this amount would get him a small fine. In others, he would be let off with a warning. The state of Texas has the toughest laws on marijuana possession in the country.
“We will definitely be appealing the court’s decision.” Said Matthew Klein, Goldsmith’s attorney. “A sentence of death does not fit this crime. There is no way that we are going to let this stand.”
Goldsmith was sent to the Texas State Correctional Facility in Austin after the trial. Per his conviction, he will be required to remain on death row until an appeal can overturn the judge’s decision.
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