reply to post by Domo1
I am glad to see this being done, but unfortunately it is so rare as to almost not really matter. Without going into too much detail, I had my eyes
opened about our justice system a few years ago when I ran into a bit of trouble. Granted, I was guilty of a couple of the charges, but nowhere near
the amount they charged me with (it is cal;led 'charge stacking...they level as many things as they can against you in the hope that at least a
couple will stick. It allows the DA leverage to make plea deals). It was my first time in trouble with the law, ever, and at 40 years old, I was very
naive, as I always trusted that the justice system had something to do with justice. Boy was I ever wrong. While in jail, I saw so many 'good'
people go to prison for such stupid things, it was not funny. Yes, some of them did the crime, but still, many of them were of no real danger to
society that I could see, as many times it was some isolated incident, and the accused simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, with the
wrong people (who just as often would remain free, and laughing at the poor sucker that went up...it is sick). I was held on a impossible bail,
assigned a court appointed attorney (which is a joke, as they have almost no incentive to work on your case, instead doing the bare minimum to push
you through the system as quickly and efficiently as possible), and sat in jail, without resources to even help myself defend myself. I remember one
time asking my attorney if it was true that I was innocent until proven guilty. His response? "You watch too much television". Ultimately, I took a
plea deal, even though I wanted to take it to trial, as I believed that I had a good chance of beating it. However, upon telling my attorney this, 2
days before the trial was set, he told me that if I didn't take the deal I was pretty much on my own, and he would do very little in the way of
defending me. Then, he had a private investigator come to the jail and scream and yell at me that I was a stupid mother effer if I did not take the
deal, and that this could be a small bump in the road, or a train wreck depending on my choice. Ultimately, with nobody backing me up, I felt no
choice, but to take the deal. I did a year of prison, then was released on probation. When I got out was when my eyes really got opened. It turns out
my 'victim' (who, by the way, was a good friend that I got into a bit of a scuffle with...it sucks, but it happens) told me that although they were
at first mad at me, they never thought it would go that far, and they were doing everything in their power to help me out, but it felon deaf ears.
They told the DA they did not think it was that big of deal, and to please let me go. They attempted to contact my court appointed attorney, who
failed to return their calls, and the one time they did talk, said that they should not talk to him directly, but rather through the DA. They even
went so far as to come to my sentencing, and speak to the court, on record, saying that they felt I was railroaded, and they hoped that I would be
able to get this expunged from my record, as I did not deserve this. THIS WAS THE SOLE 'VICTIM' in my case, saying this, and it had absolutely no
effect, as I'd already signed the deal. Prior to going to jail, I had a successful business, giving private music lessons Needless to say, that was
gone. After serving my time, I now had a felony on my record, not to mention that the attorney wrote in my judgement a $8,000.00 paycheck for himself.
I paid it down to about &3,000.00, before the loss of my waiter job, and, almost 5 years later, without getting into any further trouble, and
completely clean record prior, awaiting to go back to jail to serve time for violation of probation for failure to pay the above court fees. My
'victim' and I are back to being great friends, again, and I know, despite my 'trouble' that I am a good, stable person. I wonder how many people
we truly damage with what I know now to be a completely uncaring, and unjust justice system? Prior to this I always thought felons were bad people who
were getting what they deserved for harming society. That viewpoint has since been radically altered. I know now why lady justice wears a blindfold.
It is not because justice is blind, but rather so she cannot see the DA's, judges, and all the others in the system that constantly rape her, and
cannot testify. We need some serious reform and oversight, as it just grows more out of control, case after case. Trust me when I say that if you
don't believe it can happen to you, you are fooling yourself. Many people I was in with never in a million years expected to be there, either. One
mistake. If you are perfect and never ever have made a mistake, then maybe you will never see this, but even then, it would be possible. And, if you
are like me, you never really give it much thought until you are knee deep in it. How on earth can we call our country free, when we lock up more of
our citizens than any other country in the world?!? What the justice system, itself, is doing, is criminal, and I would love nothing more than to see
all of these folks receive what is due to them, and be locked up for their crimes against the common folk.We need to do something, people! This is a
monster that is getting increasingly out of control, and if you sit by until you are directly affected, it will be too late. Once convicted as a
felon, you are from that point on allowed to be discriminated against, and lose much of your power as a citizen, trust, and voice. Do something,
folks, before you get to this point. I wish I had, but it is too late. I'm going back to the big house for more fun and games at the taxpayers
expense. I am of no danger to anyone, except the taxpayers dollar, and if you knew me, would never guess that I was a ex-con. I am no different than
most of you, and if you sit idle, you could be in my shoes (or rather, jail flip flops...hehe) in a blink of an eye. Really. It happens all the time.
I never would have believed it either, but this ostrich had to pull his head out of the sand, and he is not happy with what he sees happening in the
desert. Thanks for hearing my story, and I wish you all the best. See ya when I get out.