The compassionate ruling of 7-2 came out of the case of Adrian Moncrieffe, who legally immigrated with his parents to the United States from Jamaica in 1984 when he was three years old. Moncrieffe grew up, got a job as a home health care worker, got married, and started a family in Georgia.
In 2007, Georgia police busted him for 1.3 grams of marijuana during a routine traffic stop. Here’s the horrifying part: the state of Georgia charged the father of five – who had no prior record – with drug dealing. He pled guilty to avoid prison time, but instead, authorities sent the American-in-all-but-name to Jamaica. No appeal.
“The federal government … [contended] that under federal law, there was no discretion on the matter because Moncrieffe had been convicted of an aggravated felony,” NPR reports.
The Supreme Court straightened things out yesterday.
“The government’s attempt to characterize such an offense as an aggravated felony, said Justice Sotomayor, ‘defies the commonsense conception of these terms.’”
The SCOTUS decision means Moncrieffe can appeal his deportation and hopefully return to his wife and five kids – though we’d suggest getting the heck out of Georgia.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito thought Moncrieffe should stay in Jamaica.
You must be logged in to post a comment.