Mississippi upholds 12-year sentence for cellphone in jail

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Prison interior

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Supreme Court’s confirmation of a 12-year prison sentence for an African American man who carried his mobile phone into a county jail cell is being slammed as a brutal example of racial injustice.

Even one of the justices who joined in the unanimous ruling said that while the sentence is legal, the prosecutor and trial judge could have avoided charging the man at all.

Willie Nash had his phone with him after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge.

The high court’s Jan. 9 ruling calls the 12-year sentence “harsh” but says it fits the sentencing range of three to 15 years.

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