Is It OK To Send People In Their 70s to Prison on Drug Crimes?


Old age doesn’t preclude a person from committing a crime, and in the cases of two elderly Oklahomans, it doesn’t rule them out from possibly spending the remainder of their lives in prison on drug cases, reports The Oklahoman. One woman, 73, was charged Friday with possessing controlled prescription drugs with intent to distribute and for having a firearm after prior felony convictions. In another case, a man, 70, accepted a plea deal on March 24 for 30 years in prison with 15 suspended for distributing painkillers.

Some 9 percent of the nearly 26,000 incarcerated are older than 51 years old. Nearly 30 percent of the prison population is serving time for drug crimes. “We can’t just say this guy is old so we’re not going to prosecute,” said Love County prosecutor Paule’ Wise. In the other case, prosecutor Mike Loeffler said, “It’s hard to be blind to age, but selling these drugs is for no other purpose than economic gain.”

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