Louisiana man serving life for $30 drug sale set to be freed

Crime

ABBEVILLE, La. (AP) — Prosecutors in Louisiana have agreed to release a Black veteran serving a life sentence in prison over a $30 marijuana sale.

News outlets report the decision was reached Thursday in Vermilion Parish, allowing Derek Harris to be freed after nine years.

Harris was convicted under Louisiana’s habitual offender law following a sale of less than a gram of marijuana in 2008.

News outlets said the state Supreme Court granted him a new hearing, and his legal team with the Promise of Justice Initiative argued he received ineffective council when his attorney didn’t challenge the sentence.

Harris’ lawyer said prosecutors agreed, and he would soon be released.

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