ROGER DAVIS IS FINALLY PAROLED
ROGER DAVIS, WHOSE 40-YEAR SENTENCE for crimes involving about eight ounces of marijuana was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982, has been freed at last. Davis, busted in October 1973 in Wytheville, Virginia, has consistently maintained that he was so severely punished not for dealing pot, but for affronting the racist power structure of small-town Virginia. At the time of his arrest, he was looked upon locally as a black “pied piper” of the counterculture, and he had married a white woman (see HIGH TIMES, July ’83).
He served three and a half years of maximum-security time before being released on appeal in 1976. With the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union he remained on the street for just over five years while his appeals were being exhausted. Following the Supreme Court decision in January 1982, Virginia governor Charles Robb reduced his sentence by executive order to 20 years, before he was returned to state custody.
He was released April 5-his earliest pos sible parole date-after carefully maintain ing a spotless record at the medium-security Botetourt Correctional Unit near Roanoke. When released he had served a total of five and a half years for a crime that today sel dom fetches more than probation.