Prison Pete

Friday, July 08, 2005
  You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride.
Well after a long pause in the never ending quest for some sort of judicial relief, I am about to jump back on the emotional rollercoaster of knowing any day I could receive something in the mail that will radically effect my life.

I had received a letter from the United States Court of Appeals on June 17. The letter was actually dated June 14 and stated that I have 21 days from the date of the letter (not the day I received the letter) to send a motion to the court asking for the court to issue a Certificate of Appealability. This is like playing "May I?" Before I get the Court of Appeals to review my case I have to ask for permission first

I have learned a lot about the law over the last nine years, but I had no idea what form this motion would take. I still do not know what it is supposed to look like, but I have done my best to submit a seven page motion. It is going in the mail this evening, Thursday, June 30, and will get to the post office Friday morning. If I had missed the mail tonight, it would not have left till Tuesday morning, July 5, sort of too last minute.

Now the wait begins. I can anticipate one of the following answers at some unknown point in the future. That is where the rollercoaster comes in. Not only do I know what the next step or answer will be, but I have no idea when "it" will come. The possible responses are:

1. My paperwork gets returned for not being in the proper format. They may enclose some specific instructions to enable me to fix the problem or refer me to some legal publication that I may or may not have access to. They will probably give me another date to get the fixed document back to the court.

2. The court accepts my paperwork, but rejects my request for the certificate. I am basically at the end of the road at that point. I have run out of any further court proceeding and am stuck here in the New York prison system for the next 5 to 15 years.

3. They accept my paperwork and agree to issue the Certificate of Appealability. Then I would need to send some more paperwork and they could then:

a. Deny my appeal, and short of getting my case in front of the United States Supreme Court, I am also at end of road as in #2 above.

b. They grant me the relief I am seeking and back to the New York courts I go where there would be a possibility that I could win the argument that I am being doubly punished, and become a sort of free person. Sort of because even if I am released from the New York prison system, I would then start a three year term of Supervised released as part of the sentence I received from the Federal Government.

4. The old "None of the above," response. The court sends a letter telling me of a completely different option that I had not even thought of.

I assume the above is as clear as mud, but perhaps you can see the emotional rollercoaster I have just jumped on. Stay tuned for further updates.
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