BALTIMORE (AP) – Two former Baltimore police officers serving hundreds of years in prison for detaining and robbing drug traffickers in the early 2000s have had their sentences reduced to 20 years each by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang granted discounts for William King and Antonio Murray on Monday, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Lawyers for men argued earlier this year that they would have received much shorter sentences today under reforms passed by Congress since the officers were convicted in 2006.
“Mr. King thanks the court for recognizing that a reduction in his previous sentence of 315 years was warranted,” his lawyer Steve Levin told the newspaper. “While 20 years is still a significant prison sentence, it is gives Mr. King hope to become a productive member of society again. ”
The US Attorney’s Office ruled that King’s sentence should have been reduced from 315 years to 65, and Murray’s should have been reduced from 139 years to 30 years.
Chuang said that 20-year sentences for the two “roughly match the type of sentences currently imposed in comparable police corruption cases in this district.”
In the more recent case of Baltimore Firearms Tracing Working Group – who has robbed drug dealers, planted drugs and weapons on innocent people, and assaulted seemingly random civilians – the longest sentence for an officer was 25 years.
King and Murray were convicted of robbery, extortion, and drug and handgun offenses. Their sentences were much higher because the court was required to hand down various convictions related to firearms consecutively.
The federal system does not have parole, but lawyers have said the former officers could be released to halfway houses soon after their sentences are reduced, according to The Sun.