Monday, September 01, 2014

U.S. v. Stewart (9th Cir. - July 31, 2014)

You'd normally think that the fact that your drug dealer is trying to rip you off increases his moral culpability rather than decreases it.  He's not only a drug dealer, but a thief.

But that's not the way the sentencing guidelines work.  Yeah, the guy here sold GHB.  But what he sold was such "bunk" -- the GHB was so diluted -- that it wouldn't really achieve the desired effect.

Which you definitely don't want in your drug dealer.  But which society is apparently pretty happy with.  Because we may well end up giving that guy a lower sentence.

None of which helps the defendant here, since he's a "career criminal" and the district court already made a substantial downward departure.  But, in the future, if you're thinking about whether to sell high-quality versus low-quality drugs, think the latter.  It may help you out if you get caught.

Just don't get shot by a frustrated customer.

It's Labor Day, after all.  Work smarter, not harder.