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Prison Pete

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Friday, November 11, 2005
  Yes, I Can Be Slow To Respond.
To Rally. You mentioned that you thought my blog was fake. It seems to me that you are not questioning whether I am in prison, but if I am remorseful and rehabilitated. I have not denied that I was guilty of breaking the law. I pled guilty to charges in both Federal and New York State Courts. It has been after my many years of incarceration that I have learned about the law, and how it is often at odds with what actually happens.

There is also much confusion as to the purpose of sending people to prison. Retribution, revenge, rehabilitation or protection of society at large. The preceding words may at times be used exclusively or inclusively of each other, and they are not interchangeable.

My rants at the 'system' are mostly on two fronts. The personal front is that according to the laws of New York State, I am probably being doubly punished, something that New York State law allows in very limited circumstances. The District Attorney admitted in writing that my case does raise the question of double punishment but since I pled guilty, the courts do not have to look into the issue. Unfortunately at this point all the courts have agreed with that rationale.

Not one court has ruled that I am not being doubly punished; they all say I gave up the right to ask the court to look into the issue.

The issue of the double punishment was something my court appointed lawyer should have handled as a preliminary issue before my case ever got to the plea bargain or trial stage. Regardless of my crimes, I am entitled to the full protections of all the laws of this country. You can not selectively pick and choose which rules and laws you want to use on any one individual case.

The United States Supreme Court ruled last December that it was illegal for a federal judge to increase the time of a sentence for any crimes that the accused had not been found guilty of by a jury of his (or her) peers, or pled guilty to. In my specific case my federal sentence was increased from eighteen months to one hundred and twenty months for crimes that at the time the federal sentence was originally imposed I had not yet pled guilty to.

One thing that has become painfully apparent to me is that even when 'mistakes' are made in the judicial system, fixing them is a very difficult process.

While I am not justifying or minimizing my actions in anyway, how do you explain that here in the same dorm with me is a retired policeman who was 'joking' around with a store clerk, pointed his licensed and loaded gun at him, and 'accidentally' shot and killed the store clerk, was sentenced to serve 1 1/2 to 3 year.

My combined sentence is currently 15 to 25 years. I have already completed the 10 year federal sentence, and now done 11 months of the state sentence (5 to 15 years), with the earliest chance of release still 4 years and 1 month away! I did not kill anyone.

Anyone that wants to question or comment on the above please do so and I will attempt to clarify any questions there are.
 
Comments:
I totally agree with you Pete. The legal system is very unjust with the sentences handed out to individuals. I know this firsthand because my fiance is currently serving what is going on his 11th year of a 33 year sentence, for a crime in which no one was killed nor even seriouly injured. I would like to read more of your posts, because I do not know anything about your case other than today's post you have made. How is it that you are able to access the internet while incarcerated? That's allowed in New York or do you have certain circumstances which allows this? Anyway, I wish you the best.
 
"pointed his licensed and loaded gun at him, and 'accidentally' shot and killed the store clerk, was sentenced to serve 1 1/2 to 3 year...

My combined sentence is currently 15 to 25 years. I have already completed the 10 year federal sentence, and now done 11 months of the state sentence (5 to 15 years), with the earliest chance of release still 4 years and 1 month away! I did not kill anyone."

WELL WHAT IS IT THAT YOU HAVE DONE??? They don't give 15/25 years jaywalking!
 
Well, once you do get out, it won't be easy, either. Certain crimes involve having your name, picture and address posted, while convicted murderers can go wherever once their parole is finished.

It's the government. It will ALWAYS be slow and inefficient, the prison system most of all.

Keep the faith.

D.
 
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