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  #1  
Old 02-08-2018, 11:07 AM
chunghwapost chunghwapost is offline
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Default Any tragic stories you heard from your cellmates?

I know in jail or prison most people will say they are innocent, people cannot really be trusted by I have heard some tragic stories from my cellmates which I would like to share, hope you can also share yours.


A business owner lended money to a friend to start his own business, friend somehow committed fraud. Owner was charged with "illegal fund raising". He claimed he was not a conspirator, no knowelege of what his friend did, only thing he did was to lend money. He was a well educated man and has an MBA degree in marketing.

A young man of 24, detained for jointly liable for his company's act. It was his first job after graduation, his company' was involved in some kind of economic dispute, the whole department including secretaries were detained. He said his case is very complicated and would probably last very long, until they have investigated every employee in his firm. He has been in detention for 6 months. His charge sheet was labelled as "theft" (white collar theft)

A manager of an IT company, also liable for his company's actions. His company was responsible to deliever a kind of electronic product for the government, the company suffers from financial crisis, they failed to deliver. His company was charged with fraud and the manager was jointly liable. He cliamed he was only involved in a "civil case" not a criminal case. He was been detained for a year now and the investigation is still going on.

A 40 year old man charged with "manslaughter". He denined of killing anyone. The case occured 20 years ago, when he was just a young man, he was beaten up on the streets by a gang. He was hospitalised but he told his friends, they went to beat them up and one of his friends pulled a gun and killed a man. His friend was arrested and charged with murder. Afraid of getting involved, he fled his city. For 20 years, he kept a low profile life, married and started a family. 20 years later he identified was arrested. He claimed he was not even at the crime scene and did not instruct his friends to beat and kill anyone, didn't even know his friend has a gun. The only evidence was based on what his friend told the police. He was charged with murder, were changed to "conspiracy for murder" due to insufficent evidence, lastly to manslaughter. His friend claimed he was the mastermind but he claimed his innocent. He has been locked up for 2 years now, still awaiting trail, his indictment has been changed several times and been transfered to different institutions over the years, but the prosecution would not drop the case. He said he shall not appeal if he is sentenced less than 3 years, as he has alreadly served 2 years in dentention (but very unlikely for manslaughter). However he claimed he is innocent and did not kill anyone. Very complicated case.

A Hong Kong man arrested for bringing 4 ipads into China, police claimed he is part of a smuggling ring. Even if it is, very petty crime, but he is jailed with no exception. In detention for 2 months.

When I was released these people are still in jail, I don't know what happened to them now. Some of them has lawyers and some do not but no one receives bail.
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2018, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chunghwapost View Post
I know in jail or prison most people will say they are innocent
That certainly wasn't my experience, chungwa.

Both in county jail and in state prison, most everyone in there freely admitted their guilt if not BRAGGED about what they did to land themselves behind bars. It was a "rite of passage" for a lot of folks, and many of them were already looking forward and plotting what future crimes they could get away with once they got out.

It's not like certain popular films like Shawshank Redemption where everyone in there claims "I didn't do it" -- on the contrary, it was exactly the opposite, in my experience.

It is that fact that completely shattered any notion I had of very many innocent people being behind bars, at least here in the United States. Because most everyone in there was clearly guilty and freely admitted so. At least to their fellow prisoners, even if they fought their case and may have proclaimed their innocence at trial or to their families so they'd keep sending money or whatever.

Maybe it's different in China and there really are many more people who are factually innocent, or at least claim they are innocent because of the shame of being considered guilty or whatever.

But that certainly isn't the case here, from what I've seen.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:38 AM
chunghwapost chunghwapost is offline
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That certainly wasn't my experience, chungwa.

Both in county jail and in state prison, most everyone in there freely admitted their guilt if not BRAGGED about what they did to land themselves behind bars. It was a "rite of passage" for a lot of folks, and many of them were already looking forward and plotting what future crimes they could get away with once they got out.

It's not like certain popular films like Shawshank Redemption where everyone in there claims "I didn't do it" -- on the contrary, it was exactly the opposite, in my experience.

It is that fact that completely shattered any notion I had of very many innocent people being behind bars, at least here in the United States. Because most everyone in there was clearly guilty and freely admitted so. At least to their fellow prisoners, even if they fought their case and may have proclaimed their innocence at trial or to their families so they'd keep sending money or whatever.

Maybe it's different in China and there really are many more people who are factually innocent, or at least claim they are innocent because of the shame of being considered guilty or whatever.

But that certainly isn't the case here, from what I've seen.
I see that's very interesting
But I guess this may vary on what type of criminals you come across, the thieves, robbers and drug dealers then to brag about their crimes, those petty and violent criminals or re-offenders are not ashamed to talk about it. While more complex people tend to proclaim their innocence.
What is the attitude towards your cellmates? What did you think when they tell you about their 'stories'?
From my perspective some people may be truely innocent but some just did not tell the truth, I've learned not to take what people say in jail seriously. I met a fraudster who told me how innocent he is, he never defrauded anyone, it was just a civil case somehow became a criminal matter because his business partner framed him. However when I was released, I found out this man was later sentenced to 10 years imprisonment writing fake cheques to defraud his business partner, it was nothing like what he told me. And yes, I agree with you some people are there fighting for their case so that is why they do not admit guilt.

Last edited by chunghwapost; 02-09-2018 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:50 AM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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My husband has people claiming they are "innocent" but all you have to do is look up their cases on Pacer and you can see all the details that these people are leaving out and it's pretty obvious they are far from innocent. There are definitely people who got raw deals or are screwed, but very few who are innocent. My husband has a roommate now who keeps telling him how he is 5 years younger than him, when he is in fact 5 years older - it is right there on the inmate locator site. He also is on his 3rd felony (2nd federal felony) but tells his story about this being his first charge..wth? His inmate number is a low one, so it's obvious even with that it's not his first felony. So, at the end of the day, you can't trust anyone. My husband has me look up almost everyone on Pacer, just so he/we know who he is really talking to. Many match up to what they tell him, but many do not and that helps. You can never be too trusting of anyone. Fortunately, he generally tends to keep to himself, but people seem to seek him out, probably because he keeps to himself and tries to just stay out of the drama so he can do his time and get out of there without any issues. So far so good.

He has been humbled however by the whole experience and has plans to do some charitable work when he gets out to help inmates, or defendants in some fashion when he gets out because it is very clear to him that many people have very poor insight and information when going in as well as significant limitations when coming out. He may have great expectations of what he is able to accomplish, but the thought is there and he will figure something out as working hard and volunteering is something he has always done in the past. He was fortunate to have good counsel and good advice.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:10 AM
chunghwapost chunghwapost is offline
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Originally Posted by rockchalk1 View Post
My husband has people claiming they are "innocent" but all you have to do is look up their cases on Pacer and you can see all the details that these people are leaving out and it's pretty obvious they are far from innocent. There are definitely people who got raw deals or are screwed, but very few who are innocent. My husband has a roommate now who keeps telling him how he is 5 years younger than him, when he is in fact 5 years older - it is right there on the inmate locator site. He also is on his 3rd felony (2nd federal felony) but tells his story about this being his first charge..wth? His inmate number is a low one, so it's obvious even with that it's not his first felony. So, at the end of the day, you can't trust anyone. My husband has me look up almost everyone on Pacer, just so he/we know who he is really talking to. Many match up to what they tell him, but many do not and that helps. You can never be too trusting of anyone. Fortunately, he generally tends to keep to himself, but people seem to seek him out, probably because he keeps to himself and tries to just stay out of the drama so he can do his time and get out of there without any issues. So far so good.

He has been humbled however by the whole experience and has plans to do some charitable work when he gets out to help inmates, or defendants in some fashion when he gets out because it is very clear to him that many people have very poor insight and information when going in as well as significant limitations when coming out. He may have great expectations of what he is able to accomplish, but the thought is there and he will figure something out as working hard and volunteering is something he has always done in the past. He was fortunate to have good counsel and good advice.
You are right many people do lie and people will try to befriend you with a purpose to take advantage of you, from what I read on this forum I guess it is the same in many cultures. However there are some people I really do feel sorry for because of the injustice of China's system. I guess your husband may feel the same situation that's why he is trying to change to the system doing activism work but at the end maybe he can't change much, there are some norms and unwritten rules that exist there long before and will continue to do so.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:22 AM
chunghwapost chunghwapost is offline
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In China there may be something different to US. You are basically "guilty until proven innocence'". Everyone, the police, prosecutors, your friends outside, the judge even the jail system works this way although the law states the other way where presumption of innocence is only in theory. I just read the article on Japan it is excatly the same I guess this maybe an Asian cultural thing. The jail system is established to treat you like a convicted man, there were lot of propaganda, jail rules to ask you to 'confess your crime', 'get rid of evil thinking'. It is not like the West where they respect individual rights, you are innocent until you are convicted by court. Although I have argued with guards about my 'human rights' they told me just to just look away 'this is how things work here', 'we do not set the rules, you have to adapt'. So the only way definant is not to let the system change you. And yes, I do feel shameful when I was in jail, every day as my human dignity has been taken away I do not know how my counterparts in foreign countries feel.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:29 AM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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You are right many people do lie and people will try to befriend you with a purpose to take advantage of you, from what I read on this forum I guess it is the same in many cultures. However there are some people I really do feel sorry for because of the injustice of China's system. I guess your husband may feel the same situation that's why he is trying to change to the system doing activism work but at the end maybe he can't change much, there are some norms and unwritten rules that exist there long before and will continue to do so.
Yes, that's a good way to put it in that he wants to get involved in prison reform to some degree, but boy there is a lot that needs to be changed, but who knows where he will be able to focus his time as there is so much to be done.

We have heard of inmates being fleeced by other inmates. I don't ask him for it, but my husband gives me a weekly accounting of his commissary funds. I kind of laugh that he sends it, so I just humor him. Not worried he's being fleeced but if something suddenly changed, I would know and there would be questions!!
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:50 AM
chunghwapost chunghwapost is offline
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Yes, that's a good way to put it in that he wants to get involved in prison reform to some degree, but boy there is a lot that needs to be changed, but who knows where he will be able to focus his time as there is so much to be done.

We have heard of inmates being fleeced by other inmates. I don't ask him for it, but my husband gives me a weekly accounting of his commissary funds. I kind of laugh that he sends it, so I just humor him. Not worried he's being fleeced but if something suddenly changed, I would know and there would be questions!!
My advice for you is ask him to wait for his release before looking forward for what he could do then. He couldn't do much if he is still in the system, as outside the system and having been through the system, he will have much more influence if he does not have second thoughs by then. Fighting inside the system will only be a major disadvantage. As for other inmates fleecing that is something to watch out too, but only he can control what is going on inside. He needs to realise people there are only on the same boat, not someone to be seen as brothers or lifelong friends.
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Old 02-09-2018, 01:45 PM
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I see that's very interesting
But I guess this may vary on what type of criminals you come across, the thieves, robbers and drug dealers then to brag about their crimes, those petty and violent criminals or re-offenders are not ashamed to talk about it. While more complex people tend to proclaim their innocence.
You may be right about that. In state prison, property and drug offenders make up a large bulk of the prison population, so that may have colored my experiences somewhat. Indeed, the most vociferous braggarts did seem to be the drug offenders... it would be interesting to see what attitudes were like in federal prison, where you have far more non-violent white-collared offenders and sex offenders in the population, so maybe not so eager to admit to their guilt or brag about their crimes...

Quote:
What is the attitude towards your cellmates? What did you think when they tell you about their 'stories'?
From my perspective some people may be truely innocent but some just did not tell the truth, I've learned not to take what people say in jail seriously. I met a fraudster who told me how innocent he is, he never defrauded anyone, it was just a civil case somehow became a criminal matter because his business partner framed him. However when I was released, I found out this man was later sentenced to 10 years imprisonment writing fake cheques to defraud his business partner, it was nothing like what he told me.
I, too, found it interesting looking up some of my old cellies once I got released. This one guy I had for a few months, he would go on and on about how terrible sex offenders were and how he couldn't stand them... turns out, once I got out and looked him up, he was serving time for LEWD AND LASCIVIOUS CONDUCT W/MINOR UNDER 16! He was projecting to try to keep suspicion off himself!
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