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Black veteran serving life in Louisiana prison over $30 drug sale is set to be freed

Jail cells (Pixabay/Released)

A Black Louisiana veteran who was sentenced to life in jail eight years ago over a trifling $30 marijuana bust will walk free after prosecutors agreed Thursday that the man was entitled to a lighter sentence.

Derek Harris developed a drug addition after returning to the U.S. from the Gulf War, his lawyer Cormac Boyle said.

Harris was sentenced to life behind bars in 2012 after he offered up less than a gram of pot to an undercover agent.

The case made it to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and last month the state’s top court granted Harris a new hearing in district court.

This week, prosecutors and District Judge Laurie Hulin agreed to let Harris walk, sentencing him to a 9-year prison term that he has already served.

Harris is set to be freed next from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola next week, Boyle told the Daily News.

The Promise of Justice Initiative, which represents Harris, said in a statement that he intends to relocate to Kentucky and to build a life with his brother and family.


© 2020 New York Daily News