An Ohio repeat drug offender has been released from prison after discovering a typo in his jury verdict, according to a recent CNN story.
When Calvin Eugene Wells of Akron was convicted for first-degree crack cocaine possession in October, 2005, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, due to the amount of the drug in his possession — more than 100 grams.
However, in the official verdict signed by the jury, that amount was skewed, leading to confusion about exactly what Wells had been convicted for.
The form, typed by an employee of the court or prosecution, reads in part:
We, the Jury, find the Defendant Guilty of the offense of POSSESSION OF CRACK COCAINE.
We, the jury, further find that the amount of crack cocaine WAS in the amount exceeding ten one hundred (100) grams as charged in the indictment.
The phrase ten one hundred (100) grams sticks out, and, according to a three-judge appeals board, lowers Wells’ crime to fifth-degree possession.
Wells had already served four years of his sentence before being released from prison.
Wells discovered the superfluous number while researching his case from prison, but had more difficulty finding a criminal defense attorney who would take the issue to appeals.
Finally, Wells fifth attorney, Jason Desiderio, successfully argued that Wells was unduly sentenced.
However, even with his favorable decision, Wells may be heading back to prison. He apparently has an outstanding warrant for possession in New Jersey.