Josh Rosenthal Picks the Wrong Crime to Commit in America

Fightland Blog

By Eli Kurland

Josh Rosenthal, one of the most recognizable referees in mixed martial arts, was sentenced yesterday to 37 months in federal prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. In April 2012, authorities raided a warehouse co-owned by Rosenthal in Oakland, California, and found around 1,000 marijuana plants valued at roughly $6 million.

Thirty-seven months. Three years and a month. 1125 days. For weed. 

As a small tribute to Rosenthal, who was kind enough to shoot a video with us back before Fightland had even launched, we'd like to offer some perspective:

  • The two teenage perpetrators in the infamous Steubenville, Ohio, sexual assault case received two years and one year, respectively, for rape and taking lewd pictures of their victim, which they then distributed to their friends.
  • Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi used a spy camera to film a fellow student who was homosexual being intimate with another male. The victim committed suicide after the video was leaked. Last year, Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years probation, 300 hours of community service, a $10,000 fine, and counseling on cyber bullying and alternative lifestyles for 15 counts of invasion of privacy, attempted invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, tampering with evidence, witness tampering, and hindering apprehension and prosecution.
  • In 2003, three teens in San Diego, California, convicted of hate crimes after beating, robbing, and shooting at elderly Mexican laborers were sentenced to eight months in a local youth camp, seven years in the California youth authority, and state prison for a 90-day evaluation, respectively.
  • Former Wal-Mart executive Thomas Coughlin, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion, was given no jail time, five months probation, and a $50,000 fine in 2006.
  • Murray State University basketball player Zay Jackson purposely drove his car into a couple at a Kentucky Wal-Mart last September and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and anger management classes and had to make a formal apology.
  • In 1992, a man in Everett, California, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, third-degree child rape, and tampering with a witness. Ferry was giving drugs and alcohol to underage girls, some as young as 13, in return for sex, which he videotaped. 

Thirty-seven months. Three years and a month. 1125 days.