Florida First Offender Gets ‘Cruel’ Sentence Of 161 Years In Prison

Quartavious Davis is still shocked by what happened to him in federal court two months ago. Davis would occupy no place at all in the annals of crime if not for his sentence. Now 20 years old, he was sentenced to 1,941 months – almost 162 years – in prison without the possibility of parole.

Davis was convicted of participating in a string of armed robberies in the Miami area in 2010. His accomplices testified against him, saying he carried a gun during their crimes and discharged it at a dog that chased them after one of their burglaries. But Davis was not convicted of hurting anyone physically, including the dog.

Davis’s unusually long sentence results from a controversial practice known as “stacking,” in which each count of an indictment is counted as a separate crime, thus transforming a first-time defendant into a “habitual criminal” subject to multiple sentences and mandatory sentencing guidelines.

“Any law that provides for a mandatory term of imprisonment for a 19-year-old first offender that exceeds a century has got to be unconstitutional,” said Michael Zelman, the court-appointed attorney who represented Davis at his trial. Zelman resigned from Davis’s case after filing a notice of appeal. If Davis’s new lawyer, Jacqueline Shapiro, has her way, the Supreme Court may ultimately decide the issue. The case will be appealed first to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Until then, Davis’s story will be a prominent case in point for both sides in an increasingly heated debate, pitting those who would protect society from the prospective dangers posed by serial criminals against those who see the United States – whose overcrowded prisons house fully one-quarter of all the prisoners in the world, most of them black – as a bastion of injustice.

Considering that Davis was a first offender, do you think that his sentence was cruel and unjust? What reforms should be done about cases like this?

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Star

Rules For Buying An Engagement Ring

You found your soul mate; now you just need to find an engagement ring that she’ll love for, oh, the rest of her life. There’s bafflingly little useful advice out there about buying an engagement ring. So we’ve assembled some hard-won wisdom that will help you get what you want—which, really, is all about what she wants—without getting suckered.

1. This Is Gonna Sting a Little

You’ll hear that you should spend two to three months’ salary on a ring, but that’s pre-recession talk. Be realistic: Start with four to six weeks’ worth of paychecks, and be prepared to drop a little extra if it’ll get you perfection.

2. Act Like a Cat Burglar

Don’t guess at her size—steal one of her rings to have it sized by a jeweler. While you’re in her jewelry box, take a few cellphone shots so you can remember what she likes.

3. Turn Her Friends Into Accomplices

Ask her pals (the ones who can keep a secret) if she’s dropped any hints—the type of metal, the cut of the stone, a designer she likes. Because she has.

4. Think of Yourself, Just This Once

She might want her wedding band to match her engagement ring—and some couples like their wedding bands to match, too. In other words: Know that if you get her a rose-gold band, you might also end up wearing rose gold.

5. Know the Rules of the Rock

You can get a quick education online about how gemologists grade stones, but after that, you need guidelines: For a diamond, avoid any color grade below H (too yellow) or any cut grade below Very Good (not enough sparkle). We’d choose a better cut and clearer color over more carats, but if she’s expecting a boulder, your choice is made for you.

6. Go Beyond the White Diamond

These days it’s cool to put some color on her ring finger; black diamonds, yellow diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires are all fair game as center or accent stones.

Just remember to nail the kind of ring that she really likes. So, are you now ready to pop the question? Were these tips helpful?

Source: Yahoo Shopping

Image: Love Exist