Cameron Douglas, son of actor Michael Douglas, lost an appeal to have his nearly 10-year prison sentence reduced Monday.
In April 2010, because he cooperated with authorities, Douglas was originally sentenced to a lenient five years in prison for heroin possession and conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Monday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court ruled that nearly doubling his sentence to 9.5 years was reasonable, and now the 34-year-old is due to be released in early 2018. Judge Gerald Lynch wrote that Douglas’ case was an example of a defendant who “has shown himself to be a poor candidate for treatment or leniency.”
In a concurring opinion, Judge Guido Calabresi wrote, “The multiple costs of our imprisonment approach — including the expense of filling our prisons with drug addicts, to mention just a base economic cost — impel me to express the hope that Congress may someday seek out a different way of dealing with this problem.”
When appealing the judgement last December, Douglas’ attorney Paul Shechtman called the new sentence “shockingly long” and “maybe the harshest sentence ever imposed on a federal prisoner for a drug possession offense.”
Douglas escaped having his sentence doubled in 2011 after being caught with drugs in prison. He had also lied about how he ended up with the narcotics. He had convinced the 33-year-old lawyer with whom he was romantically involved to smuggle anti-anxiety medication into the prison in her bra on multiple occasions. He pulled a similar stunt in 2009, when he convinced a girlfriend to smuggle heroin hidden in an electric toothbrush to him while he was under house arrest.
In December 2012, Douglas was attacked in jail for agreeing to testify against other drug dealers. He suffered a broken femur, which required him to have a rod inserted, as well as a broken finger.
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