Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > RESOURCE CENTER > Prison & Criminal Legal Help!
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Prison & Criminal Legal Help! Ask questions, get opinions, and find resources on dealing with criminal justice legal issues, appeals, and more..

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-23-2017, 03:15 PM
Friend in Jail Friend in Jail is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 161
Thanks: 211
Thanked 126 Times in 65 Posts
Default Presentence Character Letters for the Judge

What are some good guidelines to follow when writing character letters?

Any and all input is appreciated.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-23-2017, 03:40 PM
Marseille's Avatar
Marseille Marseille is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: South Dakota, USA
Posts: 1,367
Thanks: 601
Thanked 2,215 Times in 764 Posts
Default

I think WHO the letter is from is probably more important than the actual words. A letter from the convicted's mom or girlfriend or child will probably be biased and the judge is likely to assume that. A letter from a professional contact who is credible, respectable, and has a long relationship with the convicted person is likely to have more impact. No matter who writes it, it needs to be professional, unsentimental, and specific. "He's a great guy who had a rough life and he deserves a 2nd (3rd? 4th?) chance" isn't going to get much attention. "I met him 10 years ago when we both started volunteering for Meals on Wheels. We've come to rely on him because he never misses a day and we'll have a difficult time picking up the extra work without him. We hope you will consider how important he is to this organization" will probably get you more mileage.
__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Marseille For This Useful Post:
Fridyrr.Likn (03-23-2017), Friend in Jail (03-25-2017)
  #3  
Old 03-23-2017, 04:41 PM
onparoleinTO onparoleinTO is offline
OnparoleinTO
 

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Toronto
Posts: 459
Thanks: 457
Thanked 509 Times in 255 Posts
Default

This discussion has happened before, with lots of good input. If you search you can find the right threads, I'm sure.

My advice when getting these lawyers is that they should speak to the person's character as the writer knows it but should not suggest s/he is innocent or is being treated unfairly or anything like that.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to onparoleinTO For This Useful Post:
Friend in Jail (03-25-2017)
  #4  
Old 03-23-2017, 05:10 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

I'.ve said it before, and I'll say it again:

1. it is a business letter. Use 20# white 8.5 x 11 paper with a normal font like Times New Roman. Do not use all caps. Do use paragraphs. Spell everything out - don't use text-speak abbreviations.

2. watch your language. Don't curse. Don't use slang. Don't cruise the thesaurus for the biggest word you can find.

3. don't watch your language. A letter from the heart is more poignant than something that is technically and grammatically correct.

4. watch your language. A letter that you write is worth a helluva lot more than something copy and pasted together or a form letter.

5. watch your content. Do not argue the merits of the case. The person's been found guilty - you won't change this. You won't change anybody's mind about sentencing if you argue over the guilt or innocence of the case. You will make the judge dismiss your letter as it's out of touch with what's really going on at sentencing.

6. go for the standard start. Yes, yes, it sounds formulaic, but it contextualizes things very succinctly for the judge. The standard start

* introduces you by name,
* adds in your address (so you're somebody who isn't from the outer rings of Saturn, but somebody more local, who has had face to face interactions with the defendant),
* tells how you know the defendant,
* and adds how long you've known the defendant.

7. say what you know of the defendant's character - this can include a traumatic childhood and the steps he's taken to overcome it, his work history, his charitable donation history, where he volunteers, how he interacts with friends and family, and how he is an asset to the community.

8. give a short anecdote demonstrating the person's character. Did he actually give the shirt off his back to somebody who was homeless? Does he care for a disabled relative? Give an anecdote that shows how he cares.

9. Mention any steps he's taken to remediate the defect that caused him to offend. AA/NA/rehab. Psychological counseling. Getting out of a gang. Moving across the state to get away from bad influences. Going to school. Getting money advice so that he has a budget and understands it. Acquiring social services help. Acquiring disability help. Whatever it is that shows that he's capable of and actually engaged in remedying whatever it was in him that caused him to commit the crime.

10. The judge is always, "Your Honor". The salutation is, "The Honorable Judge...." Be formal. Do not use the judge's first name unless you happen to be a personal friend or golfing buddy of the judge.

11. Do not get personal with the judge - no flirting, no comment on the judge's son's past transgressions, no perfumed pages.

12. Send this to the Defendant's attorney with enough time so the attorney can review it and suggest changes. It should always be given to the Defense Attorney for the Defense Attorney to give to the judge.

that's what I have off the top of my head, and I wish this sort of thing would be made a sticky, if it isn't already. It comes up frequently enough. And I am rather tired of answering the question, just like many other people are.
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
LifeTraveler (03-26-2017), Marseille (03-23-2017), Minor activist (03-25-2017), missingdee (03-27-2017), Patrickj (03-23-2017), sidewalker (03-26-2017)
  #5  
Old 03-23-2017, 05:12 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

13. Based on the title of this thread - use spell check. Please. Remember, you don't want anything interfering with the ability of the judge to understand what you're saying. Spelling in this context counts. Grammar counts, too, but not as much as spelling.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
Patrickj (03-23-2017)
  #6  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:15 PM
Friend in Jail Friend in Jail is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 161
Thanks: 211
Thanked 126 Times in 65 Posts
Default

Thank you all so much for your input. I am sure it has been posted before and I did a quick, ineffective search before I posted because I had plans for the evening.

I do appreciate you answering a question you have answered a multitude of times. I did take your suggestions to heart.

Below is what I have come up with so far. I would love some honest feedback if you are so inclined.

Thanks again!

I am writing to you about my friend xxxxxxxx. I met him in 2006 while we were both students at xxxxxxxxx College. He and I were in the same program and took many classes together and collaborated often on assignments. We worked together at First xxxxxxxxx as church musicians for about a year. During that time I got to know him very well. He was always very hard working, dependable, and responsible. He was someone I could always count on when I needed help. We have remained friends in the years since college.

What struck me most about his character was his relationship with his family. His father died when he was 9 and since that time xxxxxx has assumed the role of a father figure to his brother. His mother was often busy working to provide for them and xxxxxx stepped in as a young adult when his brother was a teenager to guide his brother and often acted as a mediator between his brother and his mother when typical teenage angst occurred. Up until the time of his arrest he paid for his brother’s cell phone and assisted him financially when needed. Xxxxx has always dropped everything anytime his mother called and asked for help without hesitation or complaint. He feels a strong sense of duty and devotion to his family and is fiercely protective of them.

During the time since his arrest xxxxx has re-modeled his mother's home to assist her in preparing it for sale. He has done everything in his power to not be a burden on his Mom going as far as eating as little as possible to save money. When I have offered assistance, he has refused, not wanting to be a burden. He is greatly troubled by the pain and suffering his family and others have gone through during this awful ordeal. He has faced this with strength and grace and has turned to his faith for guidance and comfort. He looks forward to living an honorable life, one that his mother and God will be proud of.

Your honor, thank you for your time and consideration regarding xxxxxx’s future.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2017, 10:41 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Since you worked together at a church, talk about your experiences with him there. Give an anecdote.

second paragraph - we know it's a character letter - you're talking about his character. Omit
"his character" and reshape the first sentence or blend it with the second (this is a bit nitpick-y)

You can expand upon the remodeling concept by adding a fourth paragraph talking about what he's done to remediate/remodel his life to diminish his threat to society.

Last line could be stronger. Endorse a shorter sentence, if that's your position. Or, just change "future" to "sentence".

It's a very hard letter to write, for sure. Sometimes the best bet is to hold your LO in mind and just journal about mutual experiences. Once you've done that for a few days, like over your morning coffee, you can review your entries and pick a slamming anecdote - one that means a lot to you and therefor shows some emotional detail. Sometimes it's easier to come from a place of emotion, deal with those emotions in writing, and then copy, paste, and modify into one cohesive letter. Besides, you can always take other anecdotes and send them to him one at a time when he's in prison as a way to start the conversation.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
Minor activist (03-25-2017)
  #8  
Old 03-25-2017, 11:14 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: WA USA
Posts: 1,286
Thanks: 795
Thanked 1,085 Times in 603 Posts
Default

This link isn't as good as what yourself posted but it's also by a defense attorney.

https://www.popehat.com/2016/04/29/h...at-sentencing/

Sample quote:
Quote:
The letters I like best aren't the ones about how my client paid to attend a charity gala every year. They're the letters that tell the story about how the client visited the company's receptionist in the hospital and took her whole visiting family out to dinner, or about how he or she helped a stranger, or how he or she showed private kindness. "This Congressman supported the Family Leave Act" is not nearly as powerful as "when my mom died Bob stayed up with me all night and drove me to the funeral home and sat with me while I handled her affairs."
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Minor activist For This Useful Post:
Fridyrr.Likn (03-25-2017), yourself (03-26-2017)
  #9  
Old 03-26-2017, 02:55 AM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minor activist View Post
This link isn't as good as what yourself posted but it's also by a defense attorney.

https://www.popehat.com/2016/04/29/h...at-sentencing/

Sample quote:
In conjunction with this, I'd suggest reading the letter Brock Turner (Stanford Swimmer case) wrote in support of his son. It is particularly bad. While it tries to humanize his son, he fails. Dad reports that the case has costs his son his appetite which is really just screwed up as his victim's appetite is the least of what his actions cost her. Dad states that it's pretty unfair that 20 minutes of action is going to affect 20 years of his son's life. His son's swim races took well under 20 minutes, and he expected any Olympic medal to color the guy's life positively for the rest of his life. Minimizing a major consequence by stating it was just 20 minutes of action in an otherwise stellar life is just not a good thing. Humanizing doesn't mean minimizing the bad acts. If you need to address those bad acts for some reason in your letter, then don't try to shift the blame or minimize - it'll bite you in the ass.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-26-2017, 07:40 AM
Friend in Jail Friend in Jail is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 161
Thanks: 211
Thanked 126 Times in 65 Posts
Default

Ok I made some changes. I did read the Brock Turner letter. I looked at the Pope hat site. I am not directly addressing the crime because he and I have never discussed it. I can't tell you how much your input means to me. I didn't include any anecdotes because I can't think of anything specific.

I am writing to you about my friend xxxxx. I met him in 2006 while we were both students at xxxxxxx College. He and I were in the same program and took many classes together and collaborated often on assignments. We car pooled and worked together at First Presbyterianxxxxx as church musicians for about a year. During that time I got to know him very well. He was always very hard working, dependable, and responsible. He was my go to person when I needed help. We interned, graduated and started our careers at the same time. He was extremely helpful during some stressful times. We have remained friends in the years since college.

What struck me most about xxxx was his relationship with his family. His father died when he was 9 and since that time xxxx has assumed the role of a father figure to his brother. His mother was often busy working to provide for them and xxxx stepped in as a young adult when his brother was a teenager to guide his brother and often acted as a mediator between his brother and his mother when typical teenage angst occurred. Up until the time of his arrest he paid for his brother’s cell phone and assisted him financially when needed. xxxx has always dropped everything anytime his mother called and asked for help without hesitation or complaint. He put family first consistently. Cancelling his plans to help whenever needed. He feels a strong sense of duty and devotion to his family and is fiercely protective of them.

During the time since his arrest xxxxxx has re-modeled his mother's home to assist her in preparing it for sale. He has done everything in his power to not be a burden on his Mom going as far as eating as little as possible to save money. When I have offered assistance, he has refused, not wanting to be a burden. He is greatly troubled by the pain and suffering his family and others have gone through. He has faced this with strength and grace and has turned to his faith for guidance and comfort. He has shown nothing but grace at being deserted by most everyone he considered friends prior to his arrest, no anger or bitterness. He looks forward to rebuilding and living an honorable life, one that his mother and God will be proud of. He has thought a lot about what has brought him to this point in his life and has focused on making himself a strong Christian man through bible study, self-evaluation, reflection and attending church. He has worked on formulating a plan for his life for when he is able to move forward. He wants to repay his mother for the financial and emotional support she has provided during this time. He wants to be the emotional rock he has always been for her and his brother. He wants to be able to see his grandmother again. Due to her age, she can't travel anymore. I truly believe xxxxxxx to be a good person that can and will contribute to society in a positive way.

Your honor, thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate you learning more about who xxxxxxx is beyond what has been presented in court. He is a grandson, cousin, brother, son, my friend and a child of God.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-26-2017, 07:53 AM
Friend in Jail Friend in Jail is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 161
Thanks: 211
Thanked 126 Times in 65 Posts
Default

I spent more time searching this site for prior threads on letters of support and have not been able to locate any.

What terms should I search? I have tried: letters to the judge, support letters, pre-sentencing letters, sentencing letters, character letters, moral character


And Yourself, I like nitpicky....Nit pick away please! I have thick skin, I can take it. If it helps him it is so worth it.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:28 AM
nygirl17 nygirl17 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,716
Thanks: 103
Thanked 1,582 Times in 1,032 Posts
Default

I don't think the letters have any effect on sentencing even though I still write one my daughter a few friends and also a police officer from our town they never effect sentencing. I do know they do help when it's time for a parole hearing.
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:24 AM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

judges read letters. I clerked. I know. I've also had judges address letters in court - the fact that, based on the letters, a defendant is a well loved, well respected person who adds much to the community. I've also had judges ask when those letters would be forthcoming. They read letters.

If your letter means that your LO is spending 1 day less in prison, isn't it worth it?
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
Minor activist (10-09-2017), Sarianna (12-09-2017)
  #14  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:47 AM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sea...chquery=letter

This is how I searched:

You can't do a basic search - the term "letter" or "character" or "judge" or even all three show up far too many times in too many contexts to be helpful.

Go advanced. In the advanced search area, you can narrow to this subform and not get stuff related to the letters you write to your LO, and other occasions when people are not talking about how to write a letter to a judge.

So, the legal subform of resources narrows things down quite a bit.

From there, I want to narrow things further. Knowing I've answered this question numerous times on this sub-forum, and looking at my "Join Date", I've been answering this question for around 7 years (and a lot of questions, but this one is one that comes up with a lot of frequency. The fact that it can lead to discussions like this really helps make things fresh as this is the first time the issue of 'how to search' has come up for me). I narrowed the search to threads where I answered. I could have picked any PTO user, and I would do a separate search for "coloradolawyer" and another for "CenTexLyn" to do it in even more depth. I know coloradolawyer, who no longer posts here, has answered the question thoroughly a few times, and I believe CenTex has answered it, too. Both are lawyers, so what they want in a good character letter has a lot of weight to me, if I were going into great depth on the subject.

My search term, as you can see is "letter". If I was going into depth, I'd do separate searches for "character" and "judge" but as you can see from some of the thread titles, the titles vary.

Anyway, you really need to go with "advanced search" to get traction. You also need to isolate to this forum, and if you were going truly in depth, you might want to look at the legal sub-forums of the state and federal prison systems, but there, you're going to get a lot dealing with endorsing parole and the like.

btw, for those keeping track - this is similar to looking up cases via Google v. looking up cases using the search tools that come with a subscription to Lexis or Westlaw. Google is a basic search tool nobody in the legal community uses to find relevant caselaw. You need a search engine that's far more robust, and that searches only a database of legal opinions. Knowing HOW to search is many times half the battle.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
fbopnomore (03-26-2017), Friend in Jail (04-05-2017), Minor activist (03-26-2017)
  #15  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:08 AM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Nitpick - I'd make sure the brother is noted as younger or disabled or whatever made him particularly vulnerable and in need of older male guidance.

I would take some time in the morning over coffee or at night over a glass of wine/beer, and reminisce about your friend. Start with your college days and try to recollect him in a specific class and a specific project. Or, start with his major form of performance - did he play clarinet, or sing bass? Describe him the first time you experienced him perform and what you remember seeing and how it made you feel. List as many classes as you can remember having together, and then describe something about him in that class - his project, his jury, his attempt to learn the banjo, his facility with music transposition - whatever. Start with those descriptions - the anecdotes will quickly follow.

Same with church music. Start with what your duties were in church. Choir, youth choir, church band, list them. Then imagine him there and start describing him there. If he worked with the children's choir, how did he handle them? How did he deal with a child the first time the child broke down and cried for no apparent reason? How did he help a boy in an embarrassing position? How did he bring out the best of a very shy soloist while keeping other kids from getting jealous?

Write this all down separately. Every anecdote you can remember. Take your time. Guaranteed, once you have one story about him, others will show up really quickly and with greater ease. Don't edit to only the stories that demonstrate good character. If he woke up in a bush on campus after the first time he drank - fine. Remember it in detail. Move on to the next one. This is just reminiscence. You will edit and pull the stories that work for the letter.

Look, you need to humanize. A letter that says, "he's a good boy who loves him momma and loves jesus" doesn't humanize - it just states what most letters state. You humanize through story. If you can't find the stories right this minute, take some time to find stories outside the context of, "I have to write this humanizing letter". Sit when it's quite and reminisce. If I sit when it's quiet and start thinking back, I can remember the names of my elementary school teachers. If I take one of those teachers, I can start imagining the classroom - floor, left or right side of the hall. I can think, well, we always ate lunch, and I can think about how we got to lunch and where lunch was held. I can suddenly remember the punch cards used for school lunch, sitting at the tables with our trays of pizza (yay!) or stewed tomatoes (ugh!). I can hear the sound of trays being slammed into the rubber sides of the trash cans to clean them off before going to the dishwasher. I can remember doing that chore when my turn came. I can go from there to a kid named Mark who always brought Bugles with his brown bag lunch. He never wanted his bugles and would trade. There was a fierce trading practice to get his Bugles, especially on stewed tomato day. The trick was to get them without having to give up your desert, especially if it was a Zinger. And I can go on and on from there with greater specificity. If I think about one particular kid, especially somebody I spent time with or had a high regard for, I could come up with stories.

But, I have to have the quiet time to do it. I also have to give myself permission to travel back in time using whatever tool I have at my disposal - whatever hook I can find to get me back there in memory. I cannot edit while I'm reminiscing. Editing comes later.

Please take the time to add an anecdote. It is what really humanizes a person as it shows his love for god or his momma, it's not just telling the judge he loves god and his momma.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
Friend in Jail (04-05-2017), Minor activist (03-26-2017)
  #16  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:34 AM
nygirl17 nygirl17 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,716
Thanks: 103
Thanked 1,582 Times in 1,032 Posts
Default

I didn't say not to write them. And I know a few judges clerks here in my county and yes they read them but it doesn't effect sentences at all. There are guidelines that have to be met no matter what.
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-26-2017, 12:15 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nygirl17 View Post
I didn't say not to write them. And I know a few judges clerks here in my county and yes they read them but it doesn't effect sentences at all. There are guidelines that have to be met no matter what.
Guidelines are guidelines, however they are guidelines. A downward departure is always available, as is an upward departure.

Further, guidelines usually have a range. Whether you fall to the lower portion of that range or the upper portion is what we are mostly talking about. Wouldn't you rather your LO got 48 months rather than 50?

Again, if writing a letter spares your LO 1 day in prison, isn't it worth it?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-26-2017, 12:23 PM
nygirl17 nygirl17 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,716
Thanks: 103
Thanked 1,582 Times in 1,032 Posts
Default

IMO and i do have one. Letters do not sway a judge to give anyone a better sentence. If they did everyone would write and no-one would have to worry because they would say I wrote a letter so I know the judge will give him a better sentence. Anyway....like i said I'm not telling anyone it's a waste to write because I did. And I knew the clerk in the case.
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-26-2017, 04:38 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nygirl17 View Post
IMO and i do have one. Letters do not sway a judge to give anyone a better sentence. If they did everyone would write and no-one would have to worry because they would say I wrote a letter so I know the judge will give him a better sentence. Anyway....like i said I'm not telling anyone it's a waste to write because I did. And I knew the clerk in the case.
Can we agree, at least, that there's an art to writing letters? Judges get pissed off at bulk form letters. Letters that violate the whole, "argue the case" and "blame the victim" and fail to humanize tend to piss them off, too.

And, in some states, the letters may follow a person to parole or for clemency. So, there's that consideration as well.

Fwiw, some of the more than 170 letters written in support of Scooter Libby are available online (here's a collection of 30 - http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...y-love-letters). They make interesting reading regarding character letters.

In Mr. libby's case, I doubt that the letters had any impact on the sentencing judge. I also think that Mr. Libby's relationship with Pres. Bush had more of an impact, and the relationships that a number of his letter writers had with Mr. Bush had more to do with the commutation of his sentence. But, considering the consequences of what he did.....

(It should be noted that the Libby case should be compared with the Nixon case, wherein Pres. Ford pardoned Nixon for all crimes he may have committed before he was charged. I'm not trying to say anything politically about wanting to see Trump in prison or the likelihood that he will find himself in prison. Nor can I say anything about whether he could be extradited to Russia and find himself in a gulag, assuming rumors that he in fact committed crimes, mostly of a sexual nature, in Russia are true. While investigations into his team and probably trump himself are ongoing, and charges haven't even been leveled yet, all we have is speculation about what would happen if he were impeached because of illegal activity involving Russia.)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-26-2017, 04:56 PM
IzzyLouWho's Avatar
IzzyLouWho IzzyLouWho is offline
Mischief Makin' Moderator

Staff Superstar Winner PTO Moderator 

 

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,908
Thanks: 862
Thanked 2,859 Times in 1,456 Posts
Default

The political commentary is really off topic and irrelevant to the OP's question.
__________________
Angela
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-26-2017, 05:08 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: WA USA
Posts: 1,286
Thanks: 795
Thanked 1,085 Times in 603 Posts
Default

Contemptible though Brock Turner's father's letter was, there's no way to avoid noticing that he got what he wanted. Do the rules change depending on who the judge is?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:39 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingMrsB View Post
The political commentary is really off topic and irrelevant to the OP's question.
Not really - Scooter Libby was a high placed member of Dick Cheney's team. He made a big mistake, outing a US intelligence asset, resulting in a lot of trouble. Because his case was high profile, many of his support letters are available online - the point of highlighting his case in a thread about character letters. Rarely do you see such a comprehensive collection of character letters from the very powerful to the very erudite, and they are fascinating reading.

That said, he ran afoul of the law in the context of his work for Dick Cheney. Since Paul Manfort and Gen. Flynn are running into serious problems of their own, that can also implicate Trump, I'm trying to highlight that this is not the analogy I'm trying to make. Further, with the Ford - Nixon preemptive pardon, it would be much more relevant to look at Trump's potential exposure, should he have been found to have done something, akin to the Ford - Nixon pardon, rather than stating that Libby is an example of what could happen to Trump.

But, if you want to address the political commentary on what happened to Scooter Libby rather than look at the letters written on his behalf, please feel free to derail the thread.

I'd much rather people read those letters, compare them with Turner's dad's letter, talk about the content - what they liked, what they didn't, who they believed, who they didn't, who humanize the Defendant the best, who harmed the defendant by what they wrote. I'd like to hear the emotional impact you have reading some of those letters rather than hear about how Scooter Libby was slammed by the courts because of politics, or an implication that this is what's going to happen to Manafort, Flynn, or others who have yet to be indicted on anything.

Look at the content of the letters. Understand them in the context of what he did, but it is the content of the letters that is important.

Again, this is one of the most comprehensive sets of character letters out there. Sure, some of the headlines surrounding them are inflammatory, just like some of the Trump headlines are, but it is the letters themselves that are relevant to the discourse.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:47 PM
IzzyLouWho's Avatar
IzzyLouWho IzzyLouWho is offline
Mischief Makin' Moderator

Staff Superstar Winner PTO Moderator 

 

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,908
Thanks: 862
Thanked 2,859 Times in 1,456 Posts
Default

OK... I was trying to put it together in my head...and it wasn't going together.
__________________
Angela
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:47 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: around
Posts: 11,433
Thanks: 4,009
Thanked 19,819 Times in 7,131 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minor activist View Post
Contemptible though Brock Turner's father's letter was, there's no way to avoid noticing that he got what he wanted. Do the rules change depending on who the judge is?
Did he get what he wanted? His kid still found his way to jail for a short time, must register for a very long time, and is now the poster child for college sexual assault. And, my understanding is that they wanted no jail time and a few other considerations, some beyond the capacity of the court. So, I'm not all that sure that the letter helped the cause. I am sure, based on reading it, that the attorney didn't do his job and get a more appropriate letter written. Not only did that letter gaul me in relationship to the crime, it gauled me in relationship to the attorney, and that wasn't an inexpensive, overworked attorney.

As to what happens with that judge in that county? What impact did Stanford have on the whole thing? Dunno. I don't work anywhere close to there. There are variations among judges, but this sentence shocked me like much of the nation.

In as far as victim impact letters go, his victim's letter is an absolute instant class in what to do and how to do it. She clearly did a lot of work on her letter, and she gets the emotional impact she wanted, even if the sentence was t what was desired
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-27-2017, 03:12 PM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
Site Moderator

PTO Site Moderator Staff Superstar Winner 

Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 24,974
Thanks: 35,208
Thanked 17,317 Times in 10,449 Posts
Default

This advice is now a "Sticky".
__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to fbopnomore For This Useful Post:
Friend in Jail (04-05-2017), sidewalker (10-28-2017), yourself (03-27-2017)
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Suggestions about character letters to a Federal judge? nannersz Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 8 10-26-2008 01:07 AM
Character Letters for the Judge MissLaniS PTO Lounge 1 09-28-2008 03:51 PM
Sample character letters for judge zmarley Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 1 07-12-2007 01:33 AM
Does the prosecutor get to read character letters sent to the Judge?? Joejoe Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 8 12-02-2006 03:46 PM
Character letters to Federal Judge ladysam Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 3 01-17-2006 03:13 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:41 PM.
Copyright © 2001- 2017 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics