A new appeal is challenging a Mississippi man’s 12-year prison sentence for having a mobile phone in a jail cell.
Papers filed Thursday say Willie Nash’s punishment is “grossly disproportionate.” The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the sentence Jan. 9.
Nash is African American, and critics have slammed the case as an example of racial injustice.
An attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center says in the new appeal that Mississippi is one of only three states where such a harsh sentence would be possible.
He says research shows no cases of such a long sentence in the other states, Arkansas and Illinois.