On Valentines Day of 1997 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division I plead guilty to two counts of a six count Federal Indictment only after continuous pressure from my court appointed Defense Counsel. My counsel insisted I plead guilty, on the basis of the U.S. Attorney's threats of life enhancements to my sentence. My pleas were for two Conspiracy charges: one for drugs, and one for money laundering.
On May 1, 1997 I received a 360 month (30 year) sentence. Me, being a 34 year old mother of two, received a sentence just 4 years shy of the length of time I've been on this earth. Court records report that there were no identifiable victims of this offense, nor was there any information to suggest I impeded or obstructed justice in my case. I was also not fined or ordered to pay restitution. This was based on my inability to pay, as I had no assets or resources with which to pay. Obviously, I was not some rich Drug Lord with millions of dollars, estates or airplanes. I, at one time rented a building, in which I operated a small craft shop. I was raising two beautiful daughters and making payments, just like everybody else.
I was terrified into pleading guilty to a thirty (30) year sentence. By pleading guilty, I lost my right to an appeal. I am currently in the process of putting together a "2255", which is basically a plea to the courts to correct my sentence, based on the mistakes and/or negligance of my court appointed attorney. It is my understanding that these petitions are rarely successful, but I must try to help myself, and my children. I am currently in the "Change Program" and any/and every class to better myself before my relase.
There were twelve (12) co-defendants and all but two and my two sisters plead guilty for lesser sentences and agreed to testify against me and the two defendants who went to trial, in exchange for "leniency." Just recently, the courts have ruled that it is illegal for prosecutors to do this as it becomes "paid-for testimony." It is also known that in the 1930's this same issue was raised and the courts ruled then as now. It was determined that there is just too much incentive for "witnesses" to lie and "stretch the truth" when their testimony (and only if that testimony results in a conviction of the person on trial), determines the extent of their own punishment. The goverments continued use of this method is illegal, and has corrupted our Justice System, as we once knew it.
So, do you want to know why Rapist, Child Molesters and Murderers get no time or very little time? Your prosecutors are "dealing" with them to get a drug case! American Justice, is it or isn't it? The amount of time will tell... The "War on Drugs" has filled the prisons and jails to beyond capacity, with non-violent offenders. It has not reduced homicides, rapes, assaults or robberies. These are the crimes that Americans are afraid to leave home because of. Please write your Senator, Congressman, Governors and our President (addresses can be found on this website). The "War on Drug" does not fight crimes against the people. Empty the prisons and jails of these non-violent people and make the space available for those who make victims of us.
"Just Say No" means drugs and drug use is a choice we all can make. We have no choice in a robbery or rape. Stop this destruction of our Judicial System (and the American family, dreams and hopes) that for years has been the world's model of Justice for all.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers, especially when you are in the voting polls this election season. Thanks to everyone out in the world for all and any help. God bless you!