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S7E12: Grateful Dead Fan Timothy Tyler Granted Clemency After 22 Years in Prison for a Non-Violent Crime

Tim Tyler was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence in federal prison for selling LSD while traveling around the country following the Grateful Dead. He was 25 years old when he was sentenced and spent nearly half of his life behind bars. In 1991, Tim was arrested twice for selling LSD and received probation both times. Then, in May 1992, Tim sold marijuana and LSD to a confidential informant. He was arrested in August and charged along with three codefendants, including his father. Tim pled guilty to possession with intent to deliver LSD and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute LSD. In March 1994, Tim was sentenced to mandatory life without parole in federal prison. Tim’s codefendants received five- and 10-year sentences. Timothy’s father died in prison while serving his 10-year prison term. Tim’s life sentence was determined by two factors: his two prior drug offenses and the amount of LSD he was convicted of selling, which included the “carrier” weight of the paper the LSD was placed on. Ten grams or more of LSD (including the weight of the carrier) on a third offense triggers a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. Without the mandatory minimum, Timothy would have received a sentence of 262-327 months under the federal sentencing guidelines.


Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good™ Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

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