Every so often, the wheels of justice turn and a very bad man gets a very deserving sentence. Recently, one of North Carolina’s U.S. attorneys secured a sentence that left me scratching my head. The first paragraph of the news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office is really all we need to see here.
GREENVILLE – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today, FELIX A. OKAFOR, 53, of Benson, North Carolina, was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard to 3,157 months (approximately 263 years) and 6 years of supervised release. OKAFOR was convicted of 25 drug and firearms offenses including conspiracy to distribute 100 grams of heroin and 100 kilograms of marijuana, four counts of distribution of marijuana, six counts of distribution of heroin, distribution of drugs within 1000 feet of a school, and 11 counts of possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
Again..I have no issues with the level of punishment. The accused should go away..and for a long time. The thing that struck me was certain aspects of the sentence itself.
It has always intrigued me that whenever these sentences are announced, it’s given in months..not years (I say that because math has never been my strong suit). Even without doing the calculations, I know that 3,157 months is a boatload of time. Thank goodness, the person who wrote the release did the math for me (approx. 263 years). The litany of charges at the end of the release’s first graph justifies the number. The humorous part to me is what comes next: the six years of supervised release.
My wife often calls me “The Researcher” because it takes me no time at all to hop on Google to get some..shall we say..clarification.
I went to uslegal.com and found a working definition for “supervised release”:
The supervised release starts after a person is released from prison. Following his or her release, an offender is sentenced to a period of supervision in the community. The offender is put under direct supervision, and monitoring regarding his/her prohibited and mandated behaviors.
I hope there is a condition for early release for Mr. Okafor. The press statement doesn’t really say. Otherwise..supervised release for a man at the ripe old age of 316 shouldn’t be too hard. Spotlights trained on an urn sitting on a pedestal should do the trick. Let’s hope the urn doesn’t fall over. Ashes spilling out could be considered an escape attempt.
Let’s be realistic here. I know that, whether he’s released early..or otherwise, he’ll never serve the entire sentence. It’s just another of those details I see out of the corner of my eye that makes the question mark pop up above my head. Perhaps someone well versed in or with some knowledge of the legal community will enlighten me.
As a danger to people..especially children in the neighborhood..he should be the example of what lies ahead legally if you so blatantly and brazenly break the law.
I would just hate to see what the judge would have sentenced him to on a bad day.