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Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 06-27-2018, 03:58 PM
Susymk Susymk is offline
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Lightbulb Need help with writing a Letter of Support for sentencing

Hello everyone ,

This is my first time posting but long time lurking lol

My boyfriend is waiting to get sentenced in close to 3 weeks and his attorney wants me to write a letter of support ....... I am STUCK ! Everytime I start typing I just feel utterly stuck ! Anyone have any tips or pointers? I would really appreciate it !!
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:38 PM
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hon. Judge xxx,

My name is yyy, I live at zzz. I am (state relationship) and in that capacity, have known (defendant) for aaa amount of time. During that time, I know (defendant) to be a (list a few important qualities that relate to the positive aspects of his character).

(Tell about an anecdote or two that illustrate those positive aspects of his character).

(Talk about his trouble, if you know anything. Talk about the steps he has taken to address the issues in his life that led to his offense. Talk about what you are actively doing to support his attempts to change)

Sincerely,
Yyy

There's a sticky on this topic over in the legal section of PTO.
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:14 PM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. Here's the link to the 2 page PTO sticky "Presentence Character Letters for the Judge"
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...=699723&page=2
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:48 PM
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One other suggestion. Judges read/hear all the time that so and so shouldn't go to Prison because he has children/family or so and so is a really great guy who just made a mistake. Try and point out charitable work he has done or something he has done to go above and beyond rather than just being a loving Father, brother, boyfriend etc. Did he volunteer anywhere? Did he counsel youth? Did he save a life or someone from doing something detrimental? Try and make the judge see that he has done something exceptional and, that he stands out in some way.
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:51 PM
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Thank you everyone for your help !! It is a little difficult for me as this is my first(last) time dealing with any of this and I just feel so stuck !!
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:19 AM
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His defense attorney should have some sample letters for you to see that could be a big help for you. You can also search online for sample letters. They can go a long way. Also, a thing these days is not to ask for probation if the crime is one that there is no chance the judge would give probation for, a good defense attorney would know that also if he/she has been around enough and done their due diligence to know if this particular judge grants probation for the type of crime or not. So more likely than not, you would want to ask for the lowest sentence possible instead of saying probation if probation is really not realistic. That way the judge also knows you accept that your LO committed a crime and should be punished.

Otherwise, as others have said, write some stories about him, how he's helped you, and/or your family, what the impact would be on your and/or your family if he is gone, etc.

Some people might tell you they don't mean anything or at not taken into consideration, but again, it all depends on the judge and a good defense attorney knows what that particular judge likes or doesn't like, as well as if that judge will take the time to read them or not.
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Old 06-28-2018, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockchalk1 View Post
His defense attorney should have some sample letters for you to see that could be a big help for you. You can also search online for sample letters. They can go a long way. Also, a thing these days is not to ask for probation if the crime is one that there is no chance the judge would give probation for, a good defense attorney would know that also if he/she has been around enough and done their due diligence to know if this particular judge grants probation for the type of crime or not. So more likely than not, you would want to ask for the lowest sentence possible instead of saying probation if probation is really not realistic. That way the judge also knows you accept that your LO committed a crime and should be punished.

Otherwise, as others have said, write some stories about him, how he's helped you, and/or your family, what the impact would be on your and/or your family if he is gone, etc.

Some people might tell you they don't mean anything or at not taken into consideration, but again, it all depends on the judge and a good defense attorney knows what that particular judge likes or doesn't like, as well as if that judge will take the time to read them or not.
no, no, no, no. Family says that there is going to be a huge impact if he goes to prison. Judge says that the potential of this impact meant so little to the defendant that he committed the crime anyway. It doesn't matter if he was the one taking care of the octogenarian suffering from dementia - he still did the crime. The family is going to have to suck it up and deal with it. It doesn't matter if he's the one who provides the main source of revenue for his wife and six children - he still did the crime knowing that he would be ruining their lives by incarceration. Judges have no sympathy for defendants who screw over their family. They have all the sympathy in the world for the family, but the family has to deal with it. They believe that social sarvices are available, even if it means moving to Section 8 housing and food stamps and mom getting a third job. Don't want granny in a home? Don't do the crime.

The word is "leniency". Don't ask for probation. Don't ask for the lowest sentence in the sentencing guidelines. Ask for leniency. Acknowledge that he has to pay for his crimes, but ask for justice to be tempered with mercy and the judge to grant leniency. Don't ask for the lowest possible prison sentence, ask for leniency. This way, the judge isn't hearing that the family actually wants him in prison.

As stated above, and through the link provided by fbop, this topic has been discussed and is so popular there is a sticky dealing with it.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:51 AM
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Thanks again everyone for the great advice , I have wrote up a rough draft and have decided not to even acknowledge what type of sentence he should receive . I am pretty much writing down how his alcohol problem has caused him to make many terrible life choices and how I feel that his childhood has contributed to his addiction. I am still thinking of other things to write and would love to share my letter (private message) and get some feedback ? I would really appreciate it !!
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