Weldon Angelos will be at South by Southwest on March 18th, 2017, for a panel on criminal justice, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. The panel also includes Snoop Dogg.
In a win for criminal justice reform, Weldon Angelos has finally been released from prison. Mr. Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison under a mandatory sentencing requirement for committing drug crimes in possession of a firearm. His release is a high-water mark for criminal justice reform efforts and a sign that maybe the tide is turning against the prison industrial complex and the policies that produce it.
To celebrate this win, Freedom Partners recently produced a video chronicling the efforts made to secure Mr. Angelos’ early release from prison.

The War on Drugs has contributed to an explosion in the population of the U.S. prison system, with a disproportionate affect on poor and minority communities. The 90s brought us tough-on-crime policies like mandatory minimum sentencing requirements that tie judge’s hands. The result is absurd punishments that come nowhere close to fitting the crime.
The judge who sentenced Mr. Angelos to his 55-year sentence pointed out that, had he committed much more heinous crimes like hijacking a plane or child molestation, he would have only received a sentence of 24 or 11 years, respectively. Why then does the U.S. criminal justice system result in sentences longer than half a century for a crime that has no discernable victim?
It’s important to point out that police departments and law enforcement agencies only have so many resources to work with, so drug law enforcement comes at a cost of the enforcement of other laws. This might help to explain why tens of thousands of rape kits are going untested across the country.
Learn Liberty addressed this problem in a previous video with Professor Alex Kreit, which you can check out below. The criminal justice system in the U.S. has all the wrong incentives.