South Carolina General Prison Talk, Introductions and Chit ChatTopics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in South Carolina that do not fit into any other South Carolina subforum. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind in addition to prison.
What is the Corrections Learning Network (CLN)? I saw that they have this at Kershaw. I know it is an educational program, but what is the nature of the classes? Is there any college classes?
On an unrelated topic, I spoke to my son today. He was pretty upbeat and tried to not make me worry. When someone tries so hard to keep me from worrying, it only makes me worry. After talking to him, I started to get a very uneasy feeling. His inability to see (they took his contacts and he doesn't have any glasses) has left him very vulnerable.
There are times when the full reality of where my son is sinks in and I can feel the hysteria rising to the top. I try to get a grip on myself, but seriously, I feel pretty helpless. We all hold our children when they are small and promise to not let anything happen to them. At the time, we believe we have that power. Unfortunately, for us on this website, we know how powerless we are. I know, "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime." The problem is, as many of you are in the same boat, my son did not do the crime. He got caught in the system with an ineffective attorney and a judge that cared nothing for justice. He only wanted his docket cleared. I have given it a lot of thought and the lazy judges and prosecutors should actually practice the law - YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL YOU ARE PROVEN GUILTY.
I 100% agree with you. When my husband first went to Lieber, I freaked out on a daily basis after he told me all the crap his roommates were into knowing full well somehow he would get caught up in the punishment for their stupidity. And then one day it happened. He caught a charge for wine that his roommate made in their room that he didn't drink (he said it smelled like rotten ketchup). They don't punish one, they punish all. Then he caught a marijuana charge because his other roommate (three in a room) was the drug kingpin at Lieber and had massive amounts of weed hidden in a cooler that my husband didn't even know about. Lieber knew all about this guy and shook their room down one day, found the weed and charged all three of them. He had to go before DHO to get found not guilty. Shortly after his hearing, his now ex-roommate hired another inmate to jump him and kill him. That didn't end well for the guy jumping him. He is now in Ashley fearing for his life. Thank God my husband was moved to another dorm.
The point in my story is I used to worry constantly about him and it didn't change the fact he is a grown man and has to take care of himself in there. My worst fear came true when he was jumped, but he took care of himself and did what he had to do. My worry for him only serves to distract me from what I need to do to get him out of there.
Have you been able to find an attorney to file his PCR yet? If you ever have any questions about the process, let me know. I am neck-deep in it now.
We are meeting with an attorney tomorrow. We had a meeting scheduled with him a couple weeks ago but he was in a trial and had to cancel. Frankly, my biggest hurdle is my daughter. She is an attorney and is so afraid that we will want her to handle all of this for us. She is a new attorney and is afraid to become too deeply involved because of the family's expectations on her. She is not experienced enough to see this trough and she is apprehensive about the opinion her peers will have of her for her involvement in the whole mess. I am caught between the two children. I am trying to help my son while, at the same time, trying to be considerate of my daughters future. She worked very hard to get where she is not to consider the ramifications her brother's case might have on her reputation. He doesn't see it that way. He wants her up there, acting as his attorney and making demands on his behalf. What a mess!
Ours was $25K for the PCR. I almost fell out of the chair, but considering who this guy is, I'm not surprised. The real kicker was the $50K number he threw out for a re-trial. I could have fallen through the floor.
I wanted to comment earlier on your son/daughter situation. I understand where he is coming from, but one thing I would say to him is that a PCR is a very tricky maneuver. I'm sure she is very smart and very capable, but experience is really the key to winning a PCR. To win one, you have to be able to tear apart the original trial attorney's approach AND be able to meet each level of the Strickland standard. I just read a PCR case that was tried in the Aiken circuit where the guy was granted a PCR, but it was overturned by the Supreme Court even though they agreed his defense counsel was deficient. There are so many potential pitfalls involved that you really need someone who has tried many of these cases and had some success. Over 99% of PCR cases are lost. A PCR is a different animal in that you are attacking the defense counsel's handling of the case instead of the actual case itself. You basically get one shot at it, and if you lose, you have to appeal to the SC.
I met with 10 different attorneys before deciding on one. I think I'm just neurotic that way. LOL Some, because of the nature of his "crime" (that he didn't commit), would not even talk to me. Others didn't care because they were just looking for a guaranteed paycheck. There were two, an ungodly 20%, that actually gave me the time of day and didn't make me feel like I was wasting their time. The criminal defense investigator was really the one that gave me the most hope. After I talked to her, I finally felt like I was moving in the right direction. Until then, I seriously thought I was going in circles. I would recommend her to anybody. She listened, helped me before I even paid a dime and showed me where to go to educate myself on the process.
I have learned it is very hard for an incarcerated individual to separate their feelings from the facts in terms of their case. My husband is that way. There is so much gray area in the law yet we hand out black or white judgments. He may not see it yet or anytime soon, but he would be best served by an attorney with PCR experience....and lots of it.