In a nominal victory, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 30-year mandatory minimum sentence required by the weapons law is cruel and unusual punishment as applied to Evan, Dustin, and Paul. Tragically, however, the D.C. Circuit left all but one of their convictions in tact, and ordered that all three men be resentenced. Resentencing is expected to occur in 2018, after Nick Slatten's retrial. (The weapons law was not applied to Nick, whose first-degree murder conviction was overturned because evidence of Nick's innocence was kept from the jury.)
In addition to being charged with these heinous and untrue crimes, the DOJ charged the men with federal assault weapons charges for using certain types/classes of weapons in the commission of the alleged crimes. These laws stipulate a mandatory thirty year minimum sentence and are intended to be used primarily against gang members who use automatic assault rifles in the commission of violent crimes. The purpose of the law, as described by one of the chief authors and co-sponsors of the law, is to encourage someone who is contemplating committing a felony to leave his weapon at home. These same weapons that they have been convicted of using in these alleged crimes were ISSUED by the U.S. Department of State and outlined as a requirement in the defendants' contracts. This is a direct example of the gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion.
Below you will see a letter presented to the representative of Dustin Heard's legislative district in Tennessee. It succinctly lays out the case for why this weapons charge was a total miscarriage of justice. As mentioned in the letter, an effort was made to discuss the matter with Attorney General Eric Holder, who refused to meet with defense counsel, and sent a Deputy instead, who had no intention of intervening. After the trial, it was reported that Mr. Holder himself hosted a celebratory reception for the prosecutors in his office.
In an effort to educate the public, and the media outlets who so mercilessly covered the investigation from 2007 forward, and even those who covered the trial with bias, a nearly identical letter has been sent to Bloomberg News, CNN, The New York Times and the Associated Press. The question is, will any of them have the courage to lay one more miscarriage of justice at the feet of Attorney General Holder and his boss?