A 75 year old veteran, Carroll Brooker, was suffering from chronic pain was arrested in July 2011 for growing marijuana behind his sons home. Mr. Brooker has been sentenced to life in prison. Alabama law states that anyone with prior felonies must be sentenced to life without possibility or parole for possessing more than 1 kilogram of marijuana. Twenty years earlier, Mr. Brooker had been convicted of armed robbery in Florida and served 10 years. The marijuana Mr.Brooker possessed added up to 2.8 pounds of marijuana. The judge told Mr. Brooker if he could give him a lesser sentence he would. The case is now being heard my the Supreme Court.
Some argue that this is a case of cruel and unusual punishment. What many people don’t understand is that judges have a moral law they have to follow. For certain charges there is a bare minimum sentence that they have to give that person and the judge has no other say in the matter. They have to do it. To not sentence Mr. Brooker to life would be taking part in moral relativeness. Moral relativeness is the moral concept that there are different moral rules or guidelines for different people. It is unfortunate that this elder man has been sentenced to life, but he violated upstanding virtues and morals by violating the law and cannot expect to be held exempt from punishment because of his age.