Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t pay to study in school. It turns out that grinding on your English homework can help all areas of your life, including making you a more successful drug dealer.
At least that’s what happened to two small time weed dealers in the United Kingdom recently.
Outside a library in Wales, Luke Rance, 19, was found with seven bags of marijuana and a small amount of cocaine on his person. Meanwhile, Brandon Kerrison, 21, was in possession o f two bags of weed. When police searched the men’s home, they found another £1,200 [$1,526] worth of weed in Rance’s room.
Sentencing guidelines could have put the two men in jail for up to six months, but instead they got off with a slap on the wrist: 100 hours of community service.
Part of the reason the judge gave such light sentence was, according to the judge himself, the superb spelling and grammar the two used in the drug dealing text messages presented in court.
As reported by VICE, “Judge David Hale said that the ‘grammar and punctuation’ was of a much higher standard than normally seen from dealers in the area, and demonstrated a higher level of education.”
That’s nice for Rance and Kerrison, but it is more than a little problematic. If sentences are adjusted based on the defendants’ level of education, then that explicitly puts people from less privileged backgrounds with less access to higher education in a disadvantage in the criminal justice system. Not that this isn’t already the case, it’s just that not every day do we report on a judge actually talking about this bias out loud.
The judge apparently leaned into his leniency even harder after he heard about how Rance was due to start a theatre program at a local college and had already starred in productions of Grease and Les Miserables. Kerrison, too, was pursuing his studies with a course in construction.
Not wanting to “fetter the prospects” of the young men by sending them to jail, Judge Hale gave the duo compassionate sentences.
It’s less clear, though, why, if these two guys were so smart, they sent out mass text messages to practically everyone they knew advertising the “mad flavors” of illegal weed they had for sale. The truly promising drug dealers are the ones who don’t get caught.