Commutation support letter from 2013 for Weldon Angelos

More than 100 former judges and prosecutors, former elected and appointed government officials, and prominent authors, scholars, activists, and business leaders signed the following letter on behalf of Weldon Angelos and his family, urging President Obama to grant Angelos' request for commutation.

November 13, 2013
President Barack Obama
c/o Office of the Pardon Attorney
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Suite 11000
Washington, D.C. 20530
RE: Commutation Petition of Weldon Angelos
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of Weldon Angelos and his family, we strongly urge you to grant Mr. Angelos’s
request for commutation. The undersigned—former judges and prosecutors, former elected and
appointed government officials, and prominent authors, scholars, activists, and business
leaders—firmly believe that justice necessitates the exercise of executive clemency in this case.
In 2004, Mr. Angelos was sentenced to 55 years’ imprisonment for possessing firearms in
connection with selling small amounts of marijuana. Mr. Angelos never brandished or used the
firearms, nor did he cause or threaten any violence or injury.1 Moreover, Mr. Angelos was a firsttime offender with no adult record. Nonetheless, this father of young children and aspiring music
producer was subject to an effective life sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), a notorious
blunderbuss statute carrying harsh mandatory sentences.2

1

The District Court summarized the relevant facts as follows:
Mr. Angelos has no prior adult criminal convictions and is treated as a first-time offender under the
Sentencing Guidelines. The sentence-triggering criminal conduct in this case is also modest. Here, on two
occasions while selling small amounts of marijuana, Mr. Angelos possessed a handgun under his clothing,
but he never brandished or used the handgun. The third relevant crime occurred when the police searched
his home and found handguns in his residence. . . . Mr. Angelos did not engage in force or violence, or
threats of force or violence, in furtherance of or in connection with the offenses for which he has been
convicted. No offense involved injury to any person or the threat of injury to any person.

United States v. Angelos, 345 F. Supp. 2d 1227, 1257–58 (D. Utah 2004), aff’d, 433 F.3d 738 (10th Cir. 2006), cert.
denied, 549 U.S. 1077 (2006), post-conviction relief denied in part, 2008 WL 5156602 (D. Utah 2008),
reconsideration denied, 2009 WL 3261953 (D. Utah 2009), aff’d, 417 F. App’x 786 (10th Cir. 2011), cert. denied
132 S. Ct. 342 (2011).
2

18 U.S.C. § 924(c) provides a mandatory 5-year sentence for possessing a firearm during a drug transaction and a
25-year sentence for each subsequent transaction. Multiple charges can be brought under § 924(c) in one case, and
the mandatory sentences must be served consecutively, that is, one after the other rather than simultaneously. As a
result, mandatory sentences can be stacked on top of each other in 25-year increments. A defendant does not need a
criminal record to trigger § 924(c). Moreover, the firearm does not even have to be brandished or used, nor does the
law require that any violence or injury be caused or threatened.

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 2

Mr. Angelos’s sentence is not only draconian but also unique. No other jurisdiction would have
imposed a 55-year sentence for the crimes in this case. Had Mr. Angelos been charged in local
state court, for instance, he would have been paroled years ago. Indeed, Mr. Angelos’s sentence
is longer than the punishment imposed on far more serious federal offenses and offenders. His
term of imprisonment exceeds the federal sentence for, among others, an aircraft hijacker, a
second-degree murderer, a kidnapper, and a child rapist.3 Incredibly, Mr. Angelos’s sentence is
longer than those imposed for three aircraft hijackings, three second-degree murders, three
kidnappings, or three rapes. In fact, the 55-year sentence for possessing a firearm three times in
connection with minor marijuana offenses is more than twice the federal sentence for a kingpin
of a major drug trafficking ring in which a death results, and more than four times the sentence
for a marijuana dealer who shoots an innocent person during a drug transaction. Even a habitual
offender who receives a “life sentence” under the federal three-strikes provision could end up
serving a shorter term than Mr. Angelos.
In a compelling, laudable opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Paul G. Cassell found that Mr.
Angelos’s sentence was “unjust, cruel, and irrational.”4 Judge Cassell contrasted the virtual life
sentence via mandatory minimums versus the sentence prescribed by the U.S. Sentencing
Guidelines—between 97 to 121 months (approx. 8–10 years)—and concluded that the latter, far
lower prison term would be just punishment for all of the criminal conduct in this case.5
Nonetheless, Mr. Angelos’s 55-year sentence was obligatory as a result of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
and an outlier precedent of the Supreme Court.6 “While I must impose the unjust sentence,”
Judge Cassell concluded, “our system of separated powers provides a means of redress.”
3

Mr. Angelos’s punishment is far in excess of the federal sentence for: an aircraft hijacker (maximum term of 24
years, 5 months); a terrorist who detonates a bomb in a public place intending to kill a bystander (maximum term of
19 years, 7 months); a racist who attacks a minority individual with the intent to kill and does, in fact, inflict
permanent or life-threatening injuries (maximum term of 17 years, 6 months); a spy who gathers top secret
information (maximum term of 17 years, 6 months); a second-degree murderer (maximum term of 14 years); a
criminal who assaults with the intent to kill and does, in fact, inflict permanent or life threatening injuries (maximum
term of 17 years, 7 months); a kidnapper (maximum term of 17 years, 7 months); a saboteur who destroys military
materials (maximum term of 7 years, 7 months); a rapist of a 10-year-old child (maximum term of 11 years, 3
months); a child pornographer who photographs a 12-year-old child in sexually explicit positions (maximum term of
9 years); a criminal who provides weapons to support a dangerous foreign terrorist organization (maximum term of
8 years, 1 month); a criminal who detonates a bomb in an aircraft (maximum term of 8 years, 1 month); and a rapist
(maximum term of 7 years, 3 months). See Angelos, 345 F. Supp. 2d at 1244-46, 1258-59. According to the federal
probation office, if Mr. Angelos had been prosecuted in Utah state court, he likely would have been paroled after
serving about 2–3 years in prison. See id. at 1242–43. For a transnational perspective, Mr. Angelos would have
received the following sentences had he been convicted abroad—England and Wales: 2–4 year sentence; France: 1year sentence or probation; Germany: 5-year sentence or less; The Netherlands: fine of 300–350 euros; Poland: 3½
year sentence or less; and Sweden: 1-year sentence or less. See Erik Luna & Marianne Wade, Prosecutors as Judges,
67 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1413, 1496–1501 (2010).
4

Id. at 1262. See also id. at 1230. Judge Cassell’s Angelos opinion was honored for “exemplary legal writing.” See
Ex Ante, 9 GREEN BAG 2D 101, 101 (2005).
5

See Angelos, 345 F. Supp. 2d at 1241, 1243, 1252.

6

See id. at 1259–60 (discussing Hutto v. Davis, 454 U.S. 370 (1982)).

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 3

Because Mr. Angelos’s punishment was “one of those rare cases where the system has
malfunctioned,” Judge Cassell recommended that “the President commute this unjust sentence.”7
Judge Cassell was not alone in his belief that Mr. Angelos’s sentence is unjust. A group of 145
individuals—including former U.S. Attorneys General, retired U.S. Circuit Court Judges, retired
U.S. District Court judges, a former Director of the FBI, former U.S. Attorneys, and other former
high-ranking U.S. Justice Department officials—submitted a brief amici curiae in support of Mr.
Angelos’s case. This unprecedented group of officials, “who together have hundreds of years of
expertise in federal criminal law and federal sentencing issues,” believed that the 55-year
mandatory minimum prison sentence was “cruel, unjust and even irrational,” and could not
comport with “fundamental notions of justice and fairness.”8
Similar sentiments about Mr. Angelos’s sentence have been expressed outside of the courtroom.
In 2009, Chief Judge Julie Carnes, Chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the U.S. Judicial
Conference, testified before Congress regarding the judicial perspective on mandatory minimum
sentencing. In her testimony, Chief Judge Carnes used Mr. Angelos’s case as an example of “the
very real injustice that some specific mandatory minimum statutes have caused.”9 In 2011, the
U.S. Sentencing Commission’s report to Congress on mandatory minimums cited Mr. Angelos’s
case to demonstrate “the unduly severe sentences that stacking mandatory minimum penalties
under section 924(c) produces.”10 Likewise, a tentative draft of the new sentencing provisions for
the Model Penal Code cited Mr. Angelos’s case as a vivid illustration of disproportionate, “even
nonsensical,” outcomes that can occur with mandatory minimum sentences.11 In August 2013,
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) commented on Mr. Angelos’s plight: “We can’t put a fellow like
that in jail for 55 years.”12

7

Id. at 1261–63. As a matter of background, Paul G. Cassell clerked for then-Judge Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Chief Justice Warren Burger, before serving as an Associate Deputy
Attorney General and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia from 1984 to 1991. Prior to his
appointment to the U.S. District Court by President George W. Bush in 2002, Mr. Cassell was one of the nation’s
leading proponents of the death penalty and crime victims’ rights, as well as the leading academic critic of Miranda
v. Arizona. 384 U.S. 436 (1966). In 2007, he resigned his judgeship and returned to the University of Utah to teach,
write about criminal justice reform, and litigate on behalf of crime victims.
8

Brief for 145 Individuals, Including Former United States Attorneys General et al., as Amici Curiae Supporting
Petitioner at 1, 11, Angelos v. United States, 549 U.S. 1077 (2006) (No. 06-26), 2006 WL 3090058, at *1, *19.
9

Mandatory Minimums and Unintended Consequences: Hearing on H.R. 2934, H.R. 834, and H.R. 1466 Before the
Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 111th Cong. 38 (2009),
2009 WLNR 13897800 (statement of Chief Judge Julie E. Carnes on behalf of the Judicial Conference of the United
States).
10

U.S. SENTENCING COMM’N, REPORT TO CONGRESS: MANDATORY MINIMUM PENALTIES IN THE FEDERAL
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM 359–60 n.903 (2011), available at http://www.ussc.gov/Legislative_and_Public_Affairs/
Congressional_Testimony_and_Reports/Mandatory_Minimum_Penalties/20111031_RtC_PDF/Chapter_12.pdf.
11
12

AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE, MODEL PENAL CODE: SENTENCING § 6.06 (T.D. No. 2, 2011).

Sen. Orrin Hatch talks Washington issues, Fox News 13 (Aug. 13, 2013), http://fox13now.com/2013/08/13/senorrin-hatch-talks-washington-issues/.

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 4

Most recently, Mr. Angelos’s case was referenced several times during a U.S. Senate Judiciary
Committee hearing on “Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum
Sentences.”13 For instance, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) specifically mentioned Mr. Angelos’s
case in his testimony:
The injustice of mandatory minimum sentences is impossible to ignore when you hear the stories
of the victims. . . . Weldon Angelos was a 24 year old who was sentenced to life in prison for 3
marijuana sales. . . . Each case should be judged on its own merits. Mandatory minimums prevent
this from happening.14

Another congressional witness, Brett Tolman, served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of
Utah from 2006–2009—a time period during which Mr. Angelos’s case was still on appeal.15
Mr. Tolman described Mr. Angelos’s case “[a]s a particularly egregious example” of the
problems with mandatory minimums.16 Perhaps the hearing’s most powerful statement was
delivered by the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT):
Many of [the federal] mandatory minimums originated right here in this Committee room. When
I look at the evidence we have now, I realize we were wrong. Our reliance on a one-size-fits-all
approach to sentencing has been a great mistake. Mandatory minimums are costly, unfair, and do
not make our country safer.
Take for example Weldon Angelos, a 23-year-old with no criminal history who received a 55year mandatory minimum sentence for selling $350 worth of marijuana on 3 occasions while in
possession of a firearm. There is no question that Mr. Angelos committed a crime and deserved to
be punished. But 55 years? Mr. Angelos will be in prison until he is nearly 80 years old. His
children, only 5 and 6 at the time of his sentencing, will be in their 60s. American taxpayers will
have spent more than $1.5 million locking him up.
The federal judge who sentenced Mr. Angelos, a Republican appointee, called this sentence
“unjust, cruel, and irrational” and noted the sentence, which involved no violence, was much
more than the minimum for hijacking, kidnapping, or rape. We must stop and ask ourselves what
good does that sentence do society? . . . Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision last month not to
pursue mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug cases is an encouraging step, but it won’t

13

Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the
Judiciary, 113th Cong. (2013), available at http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=
d3ddc8eaa9b9f780d5af0a554e5fcf98.
14

Id. (statement of Sen. Paul), available at http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/pdf/9-18-13PaulTestimony.pdf.

15

Before his appointment as U.S. Attorney, Brett Tolman was Chief Counsel for Crime and Terrorism for the U.S.
Senate Judiciary Committee (first under Chairman Arlen Specter and then under Chairman Orrin Hatch). Prior to his
service in the U.S. Senate, Mr. Tolman was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah.
16

Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the
Judiciary, 113th Cong. (2013) (statement of Brett Tolman), available at http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/pdf/9-1813TolmanTestimony.pdf.

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 5

reach cases like Mr. Angelos’s. And the Department of Justice cannot solve this problem on its
own.17

Chairman Leahy is absolutely correct: The extraordinary injustice of Mr. Angelos’s sentence
cannot be undone by a change in prosecutorial charging practices. Instead, it requires the
President to exercise his explicit power under the Pardon Clause of the U.S. Constitution.18 Some
media pieces have mentioned the possibility of commutation in this case.19 In 2006, for instance,
the Washington Post called upon President George W. Bush to commute Mr. Angelos’s
sentence, just as Judge Cassell had done in his opinion. “Bush put Judge Cassell on the bench.
As a law professor before that, [Cassell] was a staunch advocate of tough justice,” the Post
noted. “His exceptional discomfort with this case—and his passionate plea for presidential
mercy—ought to carry weight even with a president so disinclined to use the powers the
Constitution gives him to remedy injustices.”20 In June 2013, the New York Times proclaimed,
“The case of Weldon Angelos has long stood for the injustice of mandatory minimums.”21

17

Id. (statement of Sen. Leahy), available at http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/pdf/9-18-13LeahyStatement.pdf.

18

See U.S. CONST. art. II, § 2, cl. 1.

See, e.g., Jacob Sullum, Bush’s Strained Mercy: If Bush Wants to Correct Unjust Sentences, Why Stop With
Scooter Libby?, CHI. SUN TIMES, July 15, 2007, at B3; Libby Uproar is Hypocritical, but It Doesn’t Pardon Bush,
USA TODAY, July 5, 2007, at A10.
19

20

Commute This Sentence, WASHINGTON POST, Dec. 9, 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2006/12/08/AR2006120801567.html.
21

Needed: A New Safety Valve, N.Y. TIMES, June 24, 2013, at A20. In addition to these works, numerous articles
and commentary in newspapers, magazines, and legal journals have described and decried the injustice of Mr.
Angelos’s sentence. See, e.g., Debra J. Saunders, A Mechanism for Mercy, S.F. CHRON., Mar. 26, 2013, at A16; Paul
J. Hofer, Review of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Report to Congress: Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the
Federal Criminal Justice System, 24 FED. SENT’G REP. 193 (2012); Michael Mannheimer, Cruel and Unusual
Federal Punishments, 98 IOWA L. REV. 69 (2012); Rachel E. Moore, Giving It Another Shot: A Reexamination of the
“Second or Subsequent Conviction” Language of the Firearm Possession Sentencing Statute, 64 VAND. L. REV.
1005 (2011); Erik Luna & Paul G. Cassell, Mandatory Minimalism, 32 CARDOZO L. REV. 1 (2010); Jennifer Seltzer
Stitt, Worth Fighting For: The Promise of Sentencing Reform, 23 FED. SENT’G REP. 126 (2010); Joanna M. Huang,
Correcting Mandatory Injustice: Judicial Recommendation of Executive Clemency, 60 DUKE L.J. 131 (2010); David
J. Savage, Judges Seek Leeway in Prison Sentences, L.A. TIMES, Sept. 29, 2007, at 12; End Mandatory Sentences,
DESERET NEWS, June 28, 2007, at A14; Chuck Colson, Justice That Restores: A Paradigm Shift in Criminal Justice
Practices, 36 GEO. L.J. iii, ix (2007); James Kilpatrick, Sentence Is Lawful, but Is It Just?, TULSA WORLD, Aug. 17,
2006, at A13; Sasha Abramsky, The Dope Dealer Who Got 55 Years: Even the Judge Called It Cruel Unusual and
Irrational, THE PROGRESSIVE, June 1, 2006, at 27; Eva S. Nilsen, Indecent Standards: The Case of U.S. Versus
Weldon Angelos, 11 ROGER WILLIAMS U. L. REV. 537 (2006); Paul Campos, When Our Justice Is Unjust, DENVER
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Feb. 22, 2005, at A31; Remedying an Injustice, MILWAUKEE J. SENTINEL, Jan. 17, 2005,
at A10; Charles Peters, Tilting at Windmills, WASH. MONTHLY, Jan. 1, 2005, at 4; Rockefeller Reform, WASH. POST,
Dec. 17, 2004; Barry C. Scheck, A Mandatory Miscarriage of Justice, STAR-LEDGER (Newark N.J.), Dec. 9, 2004,
at 17; Overturn Sentencing Guidelines and Create a Fairer System, MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM, Nov. 21, 2004, at
C4; Cruel, but Not That Unusual, L.A. TIMES, Nov. 19, 2004, at 12; Kurt Williamsen, Judges Getting Creative,
NEW AM., Dec. 27, 2004, at 19; John S. Martin, Jr., Why Mandatory Minimums Make No Sense, 18 NOTRE DAME
J.L., ETHICS & PUB. POL’Y 311 (2004).

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 6

We recognize that the executive clemency power has been besmirched in recent years by a few
tawdry cases. But we also know that you, as a former constitutional law professor and keen
student of history, appreciate the vital function that clemency plays in our tripartite system of
checks and balances. In THE FEDERALIST No. 74, Alexander Hamilton spoke of the role of
clemency in ameliorating the unavoidable excesses of criminal justice: “The criminal code of
every country partakes so much of necessary severity, that without an easy access to exceptions
in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel.” Nearly
a century and a half later, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes emphasized that a presidential pardon
“is not a private act of grace from an individual happening to process power. It is part of the
constitutional scheme.”22 Today, leading constitutional scholars have described the clemency
power as one of the “threads that defined America’s presidency.”23
Both history and current circumstances support clemency for Mr. Angelos as a matter of politics.
During 1963 and 1964, Presidents Kennedy and Johnson commuted a number of lengthy
sentences imposed on drug offenders under the 1956 Narcotics Control Act, the policy
forerunner of modern federal mandatory minimums. These presidential acts of mercy did not
carry any negative political repercussions. In fact, the commutations played a part in the
reevaluation of unforgiving punishment for drug offenders, culminating in 1970 with the repeal
of most mandatory drug sentences under the guidance of then-Congressman George H.W. Bush.
In recent times, lengthy mandatory sentences for low-level offenders have come under fire from
federal judges (including Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy, and the late Chief
Justice William Rehnquist), as well as some federal lawmakers and law enforcers (including a
former “drug czar”). Currently pending before Congress are bipartisan bills that seek to prevent
the injustices perpetuated under mandatory minimums.24 In introducing one such bill, Senator
Mike Lee (R-UT) said, “Our current scheme of mandatory minimum sentences is irrational and
wasteful.”25 Senator Lee later asked whether the nation could afford “a system that so directly
and so inevitably involves these kinds of minimum mandatory sentences.”26 Commentators and
organizations of all political stripes have spoken out against mandatory minimums, and some
public opinion data suggests that most people oppose mandatory sentences for non-violent
offenses and would vote for candidates who support eliminating such sentences.27
22

Biddle v. Perovich, 274 U.S. 480, 486 (1927).

23

AKHIL REED AMAR, AMERICA’S CONSTITUTION: A BIOGRAPHY 189 (2006).

24

See Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, S. 619, 113th Cong. (2013) (introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and
Rand Paul (R-KY)); Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, H.R. 1695, 113th Cong. (2013) (introduced by Reps. Bobby
Scott (D-VA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY)); Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013, S. 1410, 113th Cong. (2013)
(introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Lee (R-UT)).
25

See, e.g., Durbin and Lee Introduce Smarter Sentencing Act (Aug. 1, 2013).

26

See Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on
the Judiciary, 113th Cong. (2013), available at http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?comm=judiciary&type=
live&filename=judiciary091813 (Sen. Lee’s statement begins at 1:20:07).
27

See, e.g., Erik Luna & Paul G. Cassell, Mandatory Minimalism, 32 CARDOZO L. REV. 1, 1–3 (2010).

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 7

But even those who still advocate for mandatory minimums must recognize that the continued
viability of such laws requires a check against misapplication. Until the other branches of
government provide a means to prevent draconian sentences, epitomized by the one imposed on
Mr. Angelos, clemency will remain the only remedy for such miscarriages of justice.
All told, the case of Weldon Angelos is perhaps the best example of what you denounced as
“blind and counterproductive warehousing of a non-violent offender.”28 We respectfully ask you
to grant him clemency.
Sincerely,
Elizabeth Ainslie
Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1979-1985)
Albert W. Alschuler
Julius Kreeger Professor Emeritus of Law and Criminology, University of Chicago Law School
Ross C. (Rocky) Anderson
Mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah (2000–2008); Presidential Candidate, Justice Party (2012)
Harry Lee Anstead
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Florida (2002–2009); Justice, Supreme Court of Florida (1994–
2009); Judge, Florida Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal (1977–1994)
Dr. Allen Ault
Dean, College of Justice and Safety, Eastern Kentucky University; former Commissioner,
Georgia Department of Corrections; Director, Mississippi Department of Corrections; Director,
Colorado Department of Corrections; Co-Chairman, Florida Board of Corrections
Shirley Baccus-Lobel
Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Texas (1971–1985); Trial Attorney,
United States Department of Justice (1971–1977)
Anthony S. Barkow
Executive Director, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, New York University School
of Law (2008–2012); Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York (2002–
2008); Assistant United States Attorney, District of Columbia (1998–2002)
28

In a 2007 address at Howard University, after noting that then-President George W. Bush had been skeptical of
lengthy sentences for first-time drug offenders, you stated: “I agree with the President. The difference is he hasn’t
done anything about it. When I’m President, I will. We will review these sentences to see where we can be smarter
on crime and reduce the blind and counterproductive warehousing of non-violent offenders.” Sen. Barack Obama,
Address at Howard University Convocation (Sept. 28, 2007).

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 8

William G. Bassler
United States District Judge, District of New Jersey (1991–2006)
Rebecca A. Betts
United States Attorney, Southern District of West Virginia (1994–2001); Assistant United
States Attorney, Southern District of West Virginia (1977–1994)
Frank O. Bowman III
Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law;
Special Counsel to the United States Sentencing Commission (1995–1996); Assistant United
States Attorney, Southern District of Florida (1989–1996); Trial Attorney, Criminal Division,
United States Department of Justice (1979–1982)
James S. Brady
United States Attorney, Western District of Michigan (1977–1981)
William G. Broaddus
Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia (1985–1986); Chief Deputy Attorney General,
Commonwealth of Virginia (1982–1985); County Attorney, County of Henrico, Virginia (1973–
1982); Assistant Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia (1970–1973)
B. Mahlon Brown III
United States Attorney, District of Nevada (1977–1981)
A. Bates Butler III
United States Attorney, District of Arizona (1980–1981)
Edward N. Cahn
United States District Judge, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1975–1998); Chief Judge (1993–
1998)
J.A. Tony Canales
United States Attorney, Southern District of Texas (1977–1980)
Zachary W. Carter
United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York (1993–1999)
Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean, University of California, Irvine School of Law
Robert J. Cindrich
United States Attorney, Western District of Pennsylvania (1978–1981); United States District
Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania (1994–2004)

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 9

Robert J. Cleary
United States Attorney, Southern District of Illinois (2002); United States Attorney, District of
New Jersey (1999–2002)
Barry Coburn
Assistant United States Attorney, District of Columbia (1985–1990)
Sue Bell Cobb
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama (2007–2011)
W. J. Michael Cody
Attorney General, State of Tennessee (1984–1988); United States Attorney, Western District of
Tennessee (1977–1981)
Terry J. Collins
Director, Ohio Department of Corrections (2006–2010)
William B. Cummings
United States Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia (1975–1979)
Rev. Francis Davis
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Salt Lake City, Utah
Robert J. Del Tufo
Attorney General, State of New Jersey (1990–1993); United States Attorney, District of New
Jersey (1977–1980)
Nora V. Demleitner
Dean and Roy L. Steinheimer Jr. Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of
Law
Nancy J. Diehl
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Chief of the Trial Division, Wayne County (Detroit)
Prosecutor’s Office (1981– 2009); President, State Bar of Michigan (2004–2005)
W. Thomas Dillard
United States Attorney, Eastern District of Tennessee (1981); United States Attorney, Northern
District of Florida (1983–1986)
Bruce J. Einhorn
United States Immigration Court Judge (1990–2007); Special Prosecutor and Chief of Litigation,
Office of Special Investigations, United States Department of Justice (1979–1990)

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 10

Daniel Ellsberg
Activist and Author
Mike Epps
Comedian, Actor, Film Producer, Writer, and Rapper
Frances Fisher
Social Activist and Actress (credits include prominent roles in the Academy Award-winning
films Unforgiven and Titanic)
Norman Fletcher
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia (2001–2005); Associate Justice (1989–2001)
E. J. “Jake” Garn
United States Senator, Utah (1974–1993); NASA Astronaut (payload specialist on STS-51D
Discovery, April 12–19, 1985); First Vice President, National League of Cities (1974); Mayor,
Salt Lake City (1971–1974); Brigadier General, Utah Air National Guard (ret.); Pilot, United
State Navy
Nancy Gertner
United States District Judge, District of Massachusetts (1994–2011); Professor of Practice,
Harvard Law School
John J. Gibbons
United States Circuit Judge, Third Circuit Court of Appeals (1970–1990); Chief Judge (1987–
1990)
Daniel F. Goldstein
Assistant United States Attorney, District of Maryland (1976–1982)
Steven Gordon
Assistant United States Attorney, District of Columbia (1975–1986)
Dr. David P. Gushee
Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology
and Public Life, Mercer University
Jo Ann Harris
Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice (1993–1995)

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 11

William J. Hughes
United States Ambassador to Panama (1995–1998); United States Representative, New Jersey
(1975–1995) (Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime); First Assistant
Prosecutor, Cape May County, New Jersey (1965–1974)
Mickey Ibarra
Special Assistant to the President of the United States; Director, Office of Intergovernmental
Affairs, Clinton Administration (1997–2001)
David Irvine
Brigadier General, United States Army (ret.); former Army Reserve strategic intelligence officer
and faculty member with the Sixth U.S. Army Intelligence School; legislator (R), Utah House of
Representatives (1972-1979)
Erlinda Ocampo Johnson
Assistant United States Attorney, District of New Mexico (2000–2006)
Nathaniel R. Jones
United States Circuit Judge, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (1979–2002)
Gerald Kogan
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Florida (1987–1998); former Chief Prosecutor, Homicide and
Capital Crimes Division, Dade County, Florida
Philip Allen Lacovara
Counsel to the Watergate Special Prosecutor (1973–1974); Deputy Solicitor General of the
United States (responsible for, inter alia, criminal and national security cases in the U.S.
Supreme Court), United States Department of Justice (1972–1973); Special Counsel to the New
York City Police Commissioner (1971–1972); Assistant to the Solicitor General, United States
Department of Justice (1967–1969); Assistant to Reporter, Model Penal Code, American Law
Institute (1964–1966)
Thomas Lambros
United States District Judge, Northern District of Ohio (1967–1995); Chief Judge (1990–1995);
Judge, Jefferson County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas (1960–1967); United States Army
Judge Advocate General’s Corps (1954–1956)
Anne Lamott
Novelist and Non-Fiction Writer (including a number of New York Times bestsellers)
Scott R. Lassar
United States Attorney, Northern District of Illinois (1997–2001)

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Weldon Angelos
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William J. Lockhart
United States Attorney, District of Utah (1974–1975); Professor of Law, University of Utah
College of Law
Paul Rogat Loeb
Social Activist and Author (including Soul of a Citizen)
Erik Luna
Sydney and Frances Lewis Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law;
Adjunct Scholar, the Cato Institute
John S. Martin, Jr.
United States Attorney, Southern District of New York (1980–1983); United States District
Judge, Southern District of New York (1990–2003)
Kenneth J. Mighell
United States Attorney, Northern District of Texas (1977–1981)
Marc L. Miller
Dean and Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law, University of Arizona College of Law
William G. Milliken
Governor, State of Michigan (1969–1983)
Sam D. Millsap, Jr.
District Attorney, Bexar County (San Antonio), Texas (1983–1987)
Sheila Murphy
Presiding Judge, Sixth Municipal District, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (1992–1992);
Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County (1989–1992)
Napoleon
Motivational Speaker and Musician (former member of Tupac Shakur’s rap group Outlawz)
Graham Nash, OBE
Hall of Fame Singer-Songwriter and Social Activist
Robert Newman
Literary Scholar and Dean of Humanities, University of Utah
Michael M. O’Hear
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research, Marquette University Law School

Letter in Support of Commutation Petition
Weldon Angelos
Page 13

Jerome F. O’Neill
United States Attorney, District of Vermont (1981)
Stephen M. Orlofsky
United States District Judge, District of New Jersey (1996–2003); United States Magistrate
Judge, District of New Jersey (1976–1980)
Terry L. Pechota
United States Attorney, District of South Dakota (1979–1981)
Jim Petro
Attorney General, State of Ohio (2002–2007)
Katrina C. Pflaumer
United States Attorney, Western District of Washington (1992–2000)
H. James Pickerstein
United States Attorney, District of Connecticut (1974)
Richard J. Pocker
United States Attorney, District of Nevada (1989–1990); Assistant United States Attorney,
District of Nevada (1985–1989); Captain, United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps
(1981–1985)
Sidney Powell
Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Texas, Northern District of Texas, and
Eastern District of Virginia (1978–1988)
Rev. Curtis L. Price
Pastor, First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City
Albert H. Quie
Governor, State of Minnesota (1979–1983)
John W. Raley, Jr.
United States Attorney, Eastern District of Oklahoma (1990–1997)
Ronald L. Rencher
United States Attorney, District of Utah (1977–1981)
Chase Riveland
Secretary, Department of Corrections, State of Washington (1986–1997)

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Weldon Angelos
Page 14

Richard A. Rossman
United States Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan (1980–1981); Executive Director, National
Association of Former United States Attorneys
Stephen H. Sachs
United States Attorney, District of Maryland (1967–1970); Assistant United States Attorney,
District of Maryland (1961–1964)
Stephen J. Schulhofer
Robert B. McKay Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
William S. Sessions
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (1987–1993); United States District Judge, Western
District of Texas (1974–1987), Chief Judge (1980–1987); United States Attorney, Western
District of Texas (1971–1974)
Harry L. Shorstein
State Attorney, Fourth Judicial District of Florida (1991–2007)
Mark Shurtleff
Attorney General, State of Utah (2001–2013)
Jeffrey B. Sklaroff
Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York (1989–1994)
Neal R. Sonnett
Assistant United States Attorney, Chief of Criminal Division, Southern District of Florida
(1967–1972)
Norman Stamper
Former Police Chief, San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington
Eric E. Sterling
Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary (1979–1989); President,
Criminal Justice Policy Foundation
David J. Stetler
Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Illinois (1979–1988).
Thomas P. Sullivan
United States Attorney, Northern District of Illinois (1977–1981)

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Weldon Angelos
Page 15

Donald S. Trevarthen
Director, Division Counsel, The Toro Company
Anthony F. Troy
Attorney General, Commonwealth of Virginia (1977–1978)
John Van de Kamp
Attorney General, State of California (1983–1991); District Attorney, Los Angeles County
(1975–1983)
Atlee W. Wampler III
United States Attorney, Southern District of Florida (1980–1982); Miami Strike Force,
Attorney-in-Charge, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, United States Department of
Justice (1975–1980)
Vincent Warren
Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Morris “Sandy” Weinberg, Jr.
Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York (1979–1985)
Robert Weisberg
Edwin E. Huddleson, Jr. Professor of Law and Director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center,
Stanford University
James J. West
United States Attorney, Middle District of Pennsylvania (1985–1993)
Mark White
Governor, State of Texas (1983–1987); Attorney General, State of Texas (1979–1983)
Daniel E. Wherry
United States Attorney, District of Nebraska (1975–1978)
John W. Whitehead
President, The Rutherford Institute
Marianne Williamson
Spiritual Teacher, Lecturer, and Author (including four New York Times #1 bestsellers)
William D. Wilmoth
United States Attorney, Northern District of West Virginia (1993–1999)

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Weldon Angelos
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Alfred M. Wolin
United States District Judge, District of New Jersey (1988–2004)
Jeanne Woodford
Former Undersecretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Ronald Wright
Needham Yancy Gulley Professor of Criminal Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
Kevin Zeese
Attorney General, Green Party Shadow Cabinet; Co-Founder, Drug Policy Alliance
Michael D. Zimmerman
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Utah (1994–1998); Justice, Supreme Court of Utah (1984–2000)

* Affiliations provided for identification only.