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  #1  
Old 05-01-2018, 11:20 AM
Ogrebrother Ogrebrother is offline
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Default Brother to be sentenced to 18 Years

Hello everyone,

As you may or may not know, my little brother is up on some serious charges. Each one carried a 15 year maximum, and he had 25 separate charges, so they were threatening to run 25 maximum sentences end to end for a total of 375 if he didn't accept their original deal of 20. His lawyer got them down to 18, but they wouldn't go any lower.

My question to all of you: what next? What should I prepare for being his brother? What should he prepare for? Can anyone provide some more insight as to the next steps in this process?
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:04 PM
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Support him as best you can. Friends, and sometimes even families, disappear. If all you can do is to write him letters, they will be very important to him. Remember his birthday and other important dates.

Anything beyond staying in contact is difficult to plan when he is facing such a long sentence, so take your time to decide what to do as time passes.
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Old 05-01-2018, 04:27 PM
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Tufahije Tufahije is offline
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Hi there,

My brother [half...] has a long sentence ahead of him too though he has served some years on it. I concur what fbopnomore wrote. It is difficult to look at sentences with a decade + ahead of our siblings and so, the best thing to do is focus on supporting them now. Send letters and cards when you can or for special occasions. If possible, visit and keep a relationship when you can / that is available.

People leave the lives of our siblings, especially for long sentences, so it is important to be there for them as we can.

My brother is very far away so I cannot visit like I want but I make sure to write and send goods from the prison shop. [Different than USA, I know...] Take care & lots of strength....
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:58 PM
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Echoing what was said above.

Stay in contact in whatever way you can. Send money if you can. Send books/goods if you can. Send cards if you can.

One thing you didn't mention, that I will mention here anyway: your brother is your brother. He is NOT the sum total of the charges he was convicted of. He is a multi-faceted person, just like the rest of us. He is part of your past and your present, and since you're here asking, he's likely to be part of your future as well.

Please don't make the mistake of viewing him as only his charges. That is only one part of who he is.

So if/when you write/call/visit, while you may have some questions, you'll probably need to feel the situation out a bit first before bringing them up. The truly important things he'll want/need to hear are that you still love/care for him, you still consider him your brother, and he'll always be your brother. That kind of support is what he'll need the most.

YOU ... you can expect to go on an emotional roller coaster through all kinds of emotions. You may even find yourself wondering what you might have been able to do to spot/stop it from happening. These are not helpful questions at all. You'll want to start from the present and work forward, not look back at things that can't be changed.

Right now... right now he's (wherever he is) and you're wondering what's going to happen next. Right now, you can (probably) write to him and let him know that you care. Right now, you can hope/pray/wish that he's keeping himself sane.

Later on you may be able to do more, or less, but right now you can learn about what you can do, well, right now.

Hang in there - it's really hard when your family member ends up in prison. It's particularly difficult if other family members are involved. Right now, you can go look at your state forum on PTO and see what information you can find there (or the Federal forum if it's federal). Right now you can see if there are other forums that might have information.

Right now, you can be kind to yourself and to him by focusing not on how you ended up where you are, but what you can do from here, then do it.

And right now, you can mourn for the brother you thought you had and work towards accepting the brother you do have. We all carry secrets that we wouldn't want to share with the world at large - your brother's secret got splashed around where everyone can see it. Which means you now know what is probably his deepest, darkest secret. Not that you have to share your secrets with him, I'm just trying to put things in perspective for you so you can understand what I mean by "the brother you thought you had". You still have that brother - but your brother had secrets, just like the rest of us, only his became public and now you know about them. It doesn't make him any less your brother.

Some things for you to ponder.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:42 AM
Ogrebrother Ogrebrother is offline
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It’s done. He received 18 years but it boils down to 13 all together. Parents upset thinking he should have fought. Baby sister crying; she’s 26 but my brother was more of a father to her than our actual father. I’m... numb. Normal?
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It's a long, long road
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Why not share?
And the load
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He ain't heavy, he's my brother
(- Bobby Scott and Bob Russell)
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:54 PM
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The ugly truth about our criminal prosecution system is the sentencing penalty that many courts impose on anyone to goes to trial, but loses.

My example, I pled guilty to the two crimes I was accused of violating and was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison followed by 3 years of probation. A couple of months later, another guy was charged with the exact same crimes as I was and the case was assigned to the same federal district court judge. Neither of us had ever interacted with the police except for minor traffic tickets, so we both had a very long history of successful citizenship.

He went to trial, and was found guilty of both charges. His sentence was 20 years in federal prison followed by lifetime probation. So unless your brother was acquitted, or had a judge who wasn't as nasty, he probably minimized his punishment.
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogrebrother View Post
Its done. He received 18 years but it boils down to 13 all together. Parents upset thinking he should have fought. Baby sister crying; shes 26 but my brother was more of a father to her than our actual father. Im... numb. Normal?
Absolutely it's normal and I'm sorry you have to go through this. 13 is better then 375. Be there to support him through it all. Write often visit when you can. It's definitely a roller coaster.
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogrebrother View Post
Its done. He received 18 years but it boils down to 13 all together. Parents upset thinking he should have fought. Baby sister crying; shes 26 but my brother was more of a father to her than our actual father. Im... numb. Normal?
First of all I want to say how sorry I am that your family is going through this.

To answer your question, yes, it's completely normal to feel numb right now. I will never forget the day my LO was sentenced. Our family refers to sentencing day as the day we hit rock bottom. It was the end to all of the hearings, status updates, etc... It was the day we all dreaded but knew was coming. We also knew that every day after that was one step closer to him coming home!

As hard it may seem to believe right now, you will all adjust. You will find your "new normal" while he is serving his time. He will make it and all of you will make it too!

Do what you can to keep him connected to your family and the outside world. Write letters, share family news, visit if you can, provide some money on his books if you are able. Those things are going to help him and help all of you.

Remember there is a community of people on this forum who are here to support and encourage one another. There is also a wealth of information available from the people here. Make sure you tap into these resources when you need them.

Remember - tomorrow he is one day closer to coming home...
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:19 AM
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Yup, definitely normal to feel numb. It's called shock. It's absolutely normal when something horrific happens to someone close to you. And whether he's innocent or guilty makes no difference - in the eyes of the law, he's guilty and therefore he's being taken away from you and put in prison where you'll have limited contact with him.

Much like the psychology that surrounds the families of missing persons, the part our brains are not very good at handling is the "dead/not dead" aspect. You know he's not dead, but you can't find him/get to him, so he's not really 'alive' in the way our psyche's interpret it either. He's "missing". That's one of the most difficult things to go through.

When my Dad was first arrested, I got a notebook and started writing him "letters" that I knew I would never show to him or let anyone else read. They were my way of dealing with the shock, anger, numbness, sense of violation of trust, and all the other crap that was swirling around inside me. Also the sadness, depression, despair, and yes, the numbness.

Because until sentencing, there is still a shred of hope. We still hang onto this little shred of hope. Then sentencing removes that little shred of hope and we have a big sucking black hole where it used to be. The numbness will be with you for 3 - 7 days or so. Then the anger, frustration, depression, frustration, anxiety, frustration kicks in.

We're here for you. Whatever you need, we're here for you.
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