Cameron Douglas Loses Appeal for Shorter Sentence

By McCarton Ackerman 04/16/13

Michael Douglas's son will serve 10 years, due to multiple attempts to smuggle drugs inside.

Addiction in prison isn't pretty.
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Cameron Douglas will have to serve his full sentence of 9.5 years in prison, after an appeals court denied his request for reduced time. The son of actor Michael Douglas and longtime addict is serving an "unusually long" sentence after his numerous attempts to smuggle drugs into prison. Douglas, 34, will not be eligible for release until 2018, even though a group of addiction experts have advocated on his behalf after he was given one of the harshest sentences ever recorded for drug possession in prison. Judge Gerald Lynch has denied the most recent appeal, claiming that Douglas "has shown himself to be a poor candidate for treatment or leniency." Lynch, and another judge in the trial, Guido Calabrasi, were among the group of advocates who urged Congress to reform their policies on drug crimes and give non-violent offenders treatment instead of prison time. However, "we are not permitted to treat this question as a medical one, although, in some sense, it is," wrote Calabrasi. "The multiple costs of our imprisonment approach—including the expense of filling our prisons with drug addicts, to mention just a base economic cost—impel me to express the hope that Congress may someday seek out a different way of dealing with this problem." Douglas was arrested in July 2009 for selling meth and placed on house arrest, but later sentenced to jail time after his girlfriend was caught smuggling him heroin. His initial sentence of five years was doubled after Douglas was caught arranging to get drugs in prison on numerous occasions. Last December, Douglas suffered a broken leg and finger after prison mobsters put a $100 bounty on him for "ratting out" his drug suppliers.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.