Morehouse Student who shot classmate to graduate, no jail time

40555707more_20020519_00134.jpg About 500 students will graduate this weekend from Atlanta’s prestigious Morehouse College. One person who won’t be there is Rashad Johnson, shot three times by a fellow student. But the shooter will receive his diploma — part of a plea deal that spared him up to 20 years in prison.

It’s a puzzling case that raises a huge question: How can this be?

Even Atlanta’s chief district attorney, Paul Howard, is outraged by the generous plea deal, an offer that was made by a prosecutor under his command.

“First of all, for the victim and his family, they deserved a better resolution,” said Howard, a Morehouse graduate himself. “It seems like the wrong person got the right benefit.”

Joshua Brandon Norris faced one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a second count for possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. But in a court hearing in January, he was presented with what the judge described as “the break of your life.”

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pictured: Members of the Morehouse College 2002 graduating class sing their school song during commencement ceremonies May 19, 2002 in Atlanta. About 500 men received their undergraduate degrees from the predominately black school. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

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