The Louisiana Supreme Court has reversed an appellate court’s decision that an Iberia Parish’s man’s life sentence as a habitual offender was excessive and unconstitutional.
At issue was Anthony Daye, a 34-year-old fifth-felony offender, who was convicted of second-offense marijuana possession in 2012 and sentenced to life under the habitual offender law.
The Supreme Court agreed that Daye’s sentence should be reconsidered by the trial court in Iberia Parish, but only because there was not enough explanation in the sentencing. They reversed the Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that Daye should be sentenced to "lower than the maximum" of life. The minimum sentence was 20 years in prison.
"The court’s decision should not be read necessarily to limit the district court’s discretion in resentencing the defendant. On the facts before us, a life sentence may very well be constitutionally permissible. But it can only be so if the trial court clearly articulates its reasons," Justice Scott J. Crichton wrote in a ruling released Friday.
Daye was arrested for possessing a little over an ounce of marijuana in 2010. His other prior felony convictions includes: introduction of contraband into a penal institution; attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; aggravated second degree battery; possession with intent to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine.
Daye is serving his sentence at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.