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The War on Drugs - and the results of it A war against drugs, or against families?

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  #26  
Old 01-18-2005, 01:50 PM
NoraCallahan NoraCallahan is offline
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Hello everyone.

I'm with you on this, these stories of taking a plea - are very sad. Forgive me that I don't post in these forums often, it's tough to be in web communities that are indeed springing up all over. I'm Nora Callahan, with the November Coalition, and we have a website online, etc. And determining grassroots strategies for the coming weeks and months, today, we urge that people tell their newspapers, their stories of injustice.

I'm talking in this forum today because, even though my brother went to trail, and has a 2255 alive... I'm know that those who took plea bargains, those whose hurried appeal were denied -- are angry. And should be. It is so unjust - that people are 'threatned' by long mandatory sentencing. Pleas aren't about truth and justice. People take pleas, not to accept responsiblity for their actions, but to avoid decades in prison that prosecutors promise a defendant -- if you fight this -- this is what we are going to do to YOU.

Sometimes, people take pleas, because prosecutors threaten they'll go after the defendants innocent family members.

So, starting my initial thoughts with all of you, and your idea of gathering these stories is a good idea. Now, getting the thoughts out to the media is your next step. Right now, this complicated legal process, and our stories of injustice are needed. People, ordinary citizens need to understand what happened during this era of US Sentencing Guidelines. Our ordinary stories show the public how the law works - never mind what they 'intended.'

Newspaper editors only accept about 200 words, but it could go something like this:

Dear Editor:

What is being left out of national discussion of the US Sentencing Guidelines is the number of people languishing in prison because of the fearful and awesome power of the once mandatory guides, that today are advisory.

My son (daughter, husband, brother) pled guilty to charges of a zealous prosecutor rather than risk decades behind bars.

As Congress revisits harsh mandatory sentencing, they must revist policies of earned, early release. The day a person steps foot into prison, they should begin working on the day they return home. Sensless punishment hasn't made us safer, simply less free. Rewarding achievment is the American way.

Write those letters, and I post daily thoughts on my blog - from our homepage, Nora's Blog - today the button entittled - Don't sell the house!

Hang in there, but get active writing, getting to know your federal and state leaders, etc... Our time is here after 20 years of injustice.

Love,
Nora
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  #27  
Old 02-26-2005, 04:27 PM
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They talked John into a 10 year sentence he was looking at 25-life so I guess thats better than life
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  #28  
Old 02-26-2005, 06:12 PM
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My guy took a plea for 1-3, after the judge said take it or I'll give you 3-7 when you're found guilty. (And he would have been.)
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  #29  
Old 02-26-2005, 09:09 PM
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Mine is in state. He was offered & took the plea of 10 years plus drub rehab ( home invasion & assualt) plead guilty-- got 87 years. If you should want anymore details--pm me and I will fill u in
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Old 03-07-2005, 07:27 PM
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My son's father was arrested by the US Marshalls because of he got caught up in a secret indictment. He was never a violent offender but he have did time before for selling drugs...during the time he got bailed out...NY state decided to do away with the Rockerfella Law (it was harsh sentencing for drug offenders). So instead of him looking at 10years or more he was going to only be looking at doing 3 years with 2 and a half years parole and 3 years to serve time. While out on $50,000 bail, (the cops really hate him out here). They had this undercover lady cop calling his cellphone for drugs...His cousin didnt know better (it was a girl) but he did and he told her I am not going to make any sale to the lady she is a undercover cop...The Girl (stupid and wild) said okay I will he told her she was stupid and dont get him involved. So This girl went and met up with this undercover cop but instead of trying to sell her anything she slashed her face and tried to rob her. when the feds ran up on her she said that my son's father made her do it...(there was other people that was with her that said the same thing) Anyway to make a long story short his Lawyer claimed that he would get him off these charges with no problem it was a piece of cake...Nothing was a piece of cake he was scared into taking an 11 year plea bargain and the charge of conspiracy (setting the cop up to be robbed) was upgraded to where they placed him at the sceen of the crime...attempted robbery in the first. He wanted to take it to trial but his lawyer said they would bury him...So he did as the lawyer told him to do...but now he wished he didnt...He is currently filing for an appeal.
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  #31  
Old 03-17-2005, 03:28 PM
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State. Dom was facing a 6-9 yr sentence. His court appointed attorney finally called us the DAY BEFORE trial to talk about it. Until then he eluded us constantly. Anyway, he had told Dom that adding up all his classes in felonies and whatnot, that it was a high possibility of plea bargaining and more than likely receiving a split sentence in the process. Knowing that he was a black man in a small, white town, he knew the judge would nail him. When he got to court, the attorney had rated all the felonies wrong, the classes were higher, the judge hated him (duh) and my little naive self sits there thinking, Mr. Turlington said he'll only pull 6 months. RIGHT!!! Luckily, the DA did him some justice and gave him a pretty exceptable plea all things considering. He, of course, did not get his split sentence (surprise) and he pulled a little over two.
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  #32  
Old 04-04-2005, 11:51 AM
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Default plea bargains, yeah right !

In kansas on the sentencing grid for manufacturing as a class one felony you serve 12 years or so we thought. So facing 12 years in prison my husband took a plea bargain where the DA had indicated they would recomend 12 months prison sentence, my husband took it and went to sentencing day and DA changed there recomendations and was asking for 36 months prison. Myhusband got 30 months. You can not rely on the legal system to work for you,as we have found out!


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  #33  
Old 04-10-2005, 03:35 PM
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Post the people who need to be in jail or the ones that get away with thier charge

same happened to my boyfriend and i, i was 7 months pregnant and the lawyer was not answering our calls. the day before sentencing he told us that we had to take 5 year plea or the judge would do the max of 3oyears so needlesstosay i rathered him miss 2 years of our childs life than 15years. it also was his first drug offense as he to had schedule II possession with intent. and other people we know got off with just probation. i think it is all based on who you know in the town.
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  #34  
Old 04-13-2005, 01:30 PM
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Okay, Shawn got talked into a plea bargin because the da was sitting there saying well we are gonna charge you with murder and blah blah blah, when the criteria was not there, and it was self defense. He pleaded his case down to voluneery manslaugher and the most time he could get was 7 years the least was 4. well the judge gave him 7 years. His stupid *bleep* of a PD told him to take the deal when me, and his mom, and everyone else knew if he fought the charges he would have got a lesser sentence. His stupid PD was the same girl my mom once had on a drug charge case and while my mom was locked up in jail some chick got arrested and used my moms name and info and her PD told her to just plead guily to the charges and im like WTF...............man lets just say i cussed his PD out a few times, so did his mom lol, in court the lady would not even look at us lol
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  #35  
Old 05-04-2005, 11:15 AM
Gary's Wife Gary's Wife is offline
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Hi! Same thing here. My husband took a plea for ten years. If he had gone to trial, he would be out right now. He thought he was looking at 44 years, 4 labs. I wish I'd of known the law then, as I now know it! that's for sure!!
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  #36  
Old 08-25-2005, 08:24 PM
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My husband took a plea. The recommandation was for 9 months county time and he was promised he could be at the hospital when our baby was born. The judge gave him 2-20 yrs in state. Since he is in state he will miss our baby being born. He plead guilty to man. & del of cocaine less than 25 grams. 1st offense. He was also facing a possesion charge that was dropped with the plea.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:31 PM
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My fiance took a plea he was charged with accesorie before the fact of a crime. he knew that one of his friends stole a car but he didnt say anything the man then used it in a drive by shooting with 5 other people in the car. Because my fiance knew he took the car but nothing about the shooting until after the guy pulled him into it and said he knew about the car being stolen. They tried to get my man on accesorie to murder but there was no way he wasnt even in the state when the drive by happened. Then they dropped his charge and told him he had a probation violation and he could get up to 15 years with his violation and the crime so he took a plea of 4 and a day with two left to serve. four months after he took the plea two of the guys that were in the car went to trial and were let of scott free he knew they stole the car but didnt know for what the guys were there for the drive by and they got off scott free. His lawyer tried to get it turned but it was past the 60 day mark so now my man is sitting in prison for 21 more months for something stupid...
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  #38  
Old 09-11-2005, 10:31 PM
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My husband took a 15 year plea because he was faced with possibility of life without parole in Louisiana for PWID. Part of the plea was that he would be charged as a second time offender which would make him eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence. But after he got his rap sheet, they changed his status to a third time offender which makes him ineligible for parole. He has filed a motion to have his status changed, but was denied. Louisiana's prison population is the largest in the country and is only getting bigger.
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  #39  
Old 09-14-2005, 07:40 PM
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Hi,
I thought Texas had the largest prison polulation. From what I have read they are running out of space.
I have two brother in law's in the system there.
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Old 09-25-2005, 07:30 AM
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Take a look at PBS's Frontline program on plea bargaining. Pat Jarrett went to prison for nearly 30 years for a crime that EVERYONE knew she did not commit. She would not plead guilty for something she didn't do. If she had taken the plea she would have been in for 5 years max, apparently.


The Frontline piece on "The Plea," The web address is
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ows/plea/view/

It comes up in 6 parts and the entire program last 90 minutes.

For example, in chapter 2 you will understand why I say our penal/"justice" system is our (USA) 21st century equivalent of the segregation in the 80s and 90s ---only its worse because the racism is hidden from most people. The other chapters are even worse...although it is all awful. I don't think you will be able to watch it without a fast connection.
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  #41  
Old 09-25-2005, 08:53 PM
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The PD talked my son into pleading guilty to conspiracy. ( His sorry X-roomate named him.) PD said he'd get a suspended sentence and community service, but if he plead innocent, the truth, he would probably get 4 years. I told him not to plead guilty to anything he didn't do, but the PD convinced him, and then lying prossecutor asked fo 4 years anyway! He go 30 months, just for knowing a guy 6 years ago!
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  #42  
Old 09-26-2005, 12:05 PM
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My fiance pled guilty to a crime that he didnt commit. Then, the judge went back on the plea bargain and more than doubled his time. He added drug treatment and a half way house too! He was innocent, thought he was only going to get a certain amount of time then the judge said that he did not know that the victims family wanted the maximum sentence. He sentence was then doubled despite the plea bargain.
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  #43  
Old 09-26-2005, 12:08 PM
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That is kind of what happened to us! I am so sorry! You are in my prayers!
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Old 10-04-2005, 03:42 PM
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My man was asked to work with the police and he did. While doing what was asked of him, they said he did too much on his own and got 25 years in federal prison. He pled guilty in order for a chance to get a lesser sentence and ended up with more than he would have gotten in the first place.
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Old 10-04-2005, 03:46 PM
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I am frusterated and 25 years is too long to wait even though I don't want to let him go. He is 47, I am 34 and we have a 7 year old together. He has not accepted the fact he will be there that long. He keeps telling me he will appeal and be home soon. I don't believe it, but yet it gives me false hope. It makes it impossible to forget about him, even though I should because 25 years is too long for me to wait for him.
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Old 10-04-2005, 03:49 PM
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The us marshalls are deceitful and trying to trap people
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  #47  
Old 10-15-2005, 10:47 AM
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Default talked into a plea

We all know that over 95% of drug cases are resolved by plea bargaining. Here in Portland Oregon, our district attorney's office do not "talk" anyone into plea bargaining---they use scare tactics, aided by their close working relationship with law enforcement. I've been investigating this for 6 years, and I have it narrowed to 1 DA and three police detectives.

I had my first drug charges in 1999. I was under surveillance until I got a second charge, before I had even resolved the first. When I finally faced the prosecutor, I was told that "you can't escape going to prison, one way or another you are going to prison", period, end of story. I had no prior history related to drugs, a few shopliftings when I was homeless that were over 10 years old.

Since I paroled from Coffee Creek in 2003, I have been watched on and off. I am a carpenter, and I was in the midst of negotiating a repair job on a former drug house, after the renter was taken to jail. The Portland police (and a member of the DA's office) raided the house with a search warrant. I was there, but not a resident, but that didn't stop them from tearing my stuff apart while searching it. They found nothing illegal in my property, so they cited me with an "attempting to possess meth" for some empty baggies and glass fragments of paraphernelia that they found in a garbage can that was in the same room as my tool bag. I was told if I didn't take the offer that they would "proceed as a PCS II, felony and seek 2 years in prison--a far cry from the 8 hours community service offered before.

I refused to even hear any plea bargain offers from the start. I insisted on taking it to trial, and amazingly, even with such ridiculous evidence as they had, they proceeded as a PCS II felony, and they hung on all the way through trial. I was found not guilty by a judge who found compelling reasons to believe my story, and also-- the DA's office was so sure that I, with priors, would take their plea offer, that they did not even bother to either test (if possible) the items for drug residue, or fingerprint them to prove I had ever even touched them!

The most interesting thing here that I'd like to mention, is that throughout the trial, the prosecutor used the phrase "more likely than not" to prove my culpability. She'd say something like "...because of Ms. Lambert's prior historywith drugs, she is more likely than not, the owner of the items found..." Never was"reasonable doubt" ever at issue...she had me, she thought, convicted by virtue of nothing more than history. No evidence other than quote "suspected meth residue", just my history.

I can only imagine how often this happens, especially here in Oregon, where you can get sent to prison for nothing more than empty baggies.

This has been the case in numerous cases here, which I study this phenomenon. No drugs, just suspected residue and "more likely than not" accounts for many convictions. They take your money, stack as many charges as they can, and tell you you'll go to prison for 25 years if you don't take the offer for 3...That's our "just-us" system's war on drugs.

Ann Lambert
CCCF 2003

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  #48  
Old 10-15-2005, 11:02 AM
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Default time to file complaint

you need to file a formal complaint with the bar association--I assist people often in doing this, and satisfactory results have been gotten, 8 out of 10 times. I will assist you, or anyone for that matter, in wording a complaint if you wish. I am not a legal professional, but for this you don't have to be.

PM me any time.

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  #49  
Old 10-15-2005, 11:05 AM
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there are no words to adequately describe how sorry I feel that this is now "the norm".

My sympathies to you.

Last edited by sixpack6t9; 10-15-2005 at 11:07 AM..
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  #50  
Old 10-15-2005, 11:14 AM
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Default minors and contracts

I have an issue with this case of a 14 year old signing a contract...Minors can not legally sign a contract, because in most cases, they can not be held liable. Have you raised this issue with the courts? I'd love to stop plea bargaining because it is being abused, as a blackmail tool to force people to give up their rights and secure an easy conviction. I say again, minors can not enter into a contract, and that is exactly what a plea bargain is, a contract, that's why it was signed!
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