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Rethinking our prison systems

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    JC

    Today I have quite a few friends serving "multiple life sentences" because they elected to go trial as opposed to 30 year plea deals. Absolutely zero evidence in their cases other than a snitch at trial testifying to their roles in drug "conspiracies".......No drugs, no money, no wire taps, no assets...NO NOTHING.
    They were indicted...the rat gets on the stand "avoiding a life sentence" and tells the jury of multiple shipments, persons in the conspiracy and places....Again...NO EVIDENCE other then testimony. Under the rules of 5K! "substantial government assistance" he'll say exactly what they need him to say.
    The conspirators are all tried together. The jury convicts and then immediately ushered away.
    When you go trial and lose in the feds you will get the statutory maximum...which is life.

    They sentence you to life on each count. Many of these guys are first time offenders. Again...NO evidence. The judge makes a "factual finding" that the witness is telling the truth which is un-appealable under rules of evidence. Now, the defendant on appeal must bring "new evidence" which was available at the time of his trial...but overlooked...in order to maybe get an "evideciary hearing" based only on this "overlooked evidence"
    Rule 60b6 allows new evidence only if it meets the standard "extraordinariy circumstances" as in an intervening change in the law...or DNA.
    Other then that...you're screwed.
    Also, this "intervening extraordinary law change" (issues on appeal) must have been raised by council during your trial..or direct appeal.
    In other words....the defendant must raise his argument prior to the court ever getting the case in the first place. You need a crystal ball for that.

    So I have to say....after my conviction someone within one year will have my issue before the appellate or supreme court and prevail ...so that I can benefit from the decision before it actually happens...to stay within the one year time limit.....Even if the higher courts change the law in your benefit you still lose because yuou're "time barred" (procedurally barred from court) at that point...the court doesn't even have 'JURISDICTION (the authority) to even hear my case.
    Procedural changes in the law are not retroactive....only watershed decisions......In the end you lose.
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    johnnycee Wrote:Why does all your postings ,at least to me anyway , always seem to devolve into you making a personal judgment as to my motives ,or opinions, ?
    This is a website where debate is welcome. It is also a website that promotes democratic and liberal ideals, which is something you have never once done on any topic. You are a welcome member of the site, but I tend to push back against individuals who use Republican talking points, verbatim, on a daily basis.
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: JC

    Today I have quite a few friends serving "multiple life sentences" because they elected to go trial as opposed to 30 year plea deals. Absolutely zero evidence in their cases other than a snitch at trial testifying to their roles in drug "conspiracies".......No drugs, no money, no wire taps, no assets...NO NOTHING.
    They were indicted...the rat gets on the stand "avoiding a life sentence" and tells the jury of multiple shipments, persons in the conspiracy and places....Again...NO EVIDENCE other then testimony. Under the rules of 5K! "substantial government assistance" he'll say exactly what they need him to say.
    The conspirators are all tried together. The jury convicts and then immediately ushered away.
    When you go trial and lose in the feds you will get the statutory maximum...which is life.
    It makes me sick that this is what our criminal justice system has turned into. How anyone can say this is the best system in the world baffles the mind.
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    In 2005 when Blakely v. Washinton was decided the Supeme Court held that anything (evidence) that can enhance a defendants sentence must be placed before a jury. A jury must decide. Due process issue. Everyone (including myself) that were given enhancements at sentencing believed our sentences would be reduced.
    But then, the Supreme court (from request of the government) decides to hear two new cases.....Fan fan and Booker. (same issue) Fanfan came out of the district court...and Booker out of the Appellate courts.
    In a nut shell,,,,Ruth Bader Ginsburg basically reverses her decision in Blakely (exact same issue) and states, that a defendat on appeal...must show the court that his sentence would have been different had this decision existed....How is a defendant supposed to do this??? The court in Blakely...clarrified (corrected) its own prior holding in their APPRENDI case (2001)....that basically allowed all these enhancements in the first place.

    So the Court rules on behalf of the defendants.... but then places the burden of proof on the defendant in showing how their sentences would have been different. You had to prove that the judge would have reduced your sentence.
    Lets see...the judge who sentenced them to an "unconstitutional" law" was sentencing a defendant to a constitutional law at the time of sentencing....so how can anyone show that their sentences would have been different (reduced) ?????......YOU CANT therefore can receive NO relief from an "INTERVENING CONSTITUTIONAL LAW CHANGE......they have this system rigged against all citizens.
    Justice Alito in his objection to Booker poses a question.....HOW CAN A LAW BE DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL BY THIS COURT AND YET....NO ONE BENEFITS???
    I myself have been trying to answer this question since the ruling came down.

    I encourage all of you to read the opinions in these decisions...then you'll really understand the laws in this country at the federal level....YOU LOSE
    BLakely v. washington.....New jersey v. Apprendi......US v. Booker...US v. Fanfan......US v. Mistretta (seperation of power) Strickland v Washinton (2255 issue)......my favorite....US. v Watts (can be accountable for aquitted conduct)
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    At the federal level ..."relevant conduct" is behavior at the crime..... attributed to each defenant. The US attorney determines the behavior
    Example...at trial...the jury hears that defendant A and B unload a van. At sentencing one of the defendants will be given a "leadership role" in the unloading of the van. That defendant will be given a sentencing enhancement of 3 levels. 3-5 years.
    Also...a defendant is convicted of drug distribution....the jury goes home. At sentencing the defendant will be given a 3 level enhancement for using a cell phone (electronic device) to facillitate his drug transaction. 3-5 years
    When the Blakely case was decided (Washinton state case) the supreme court addressed the impact that it would have at the federal level BRIEFLY.....but refused to to really address the issue until a specefic case came before the court...... addressing the guidelines.....thus Booker and Fanfan. The same issues and yet two different outcomes.....OUTRAGEOUS

    Up until the Apprendi decision (2001) these issues were "sentecing issues"...not issues to be determined by a jury. The defendant was only convicted of drug distribution....there is no charge in the indictment for for the enhancement. (non issue) but for 23 years the courts had been enhacing sentences. They were allowed to do this as long they did not exceed the "statutory maximum" (which is life)
    But, the sentecing guidelines and statutes were at ods with one another (they conflicted)...so the courts decided to apply the sentence which is "GREATER" if the two sentencing schemes conflicted
    Under the United States sentecing guidelines 5-15 kilos of powder cocaine locks you in to a 10 to 15 yr. sentence (base offense level 36) not including any priors which doubles your sentence)
    BUT...the statute (by congress) is 10 yrs to life......so the US attorney can ask for a sentence of life even though the guidelines set your sentence as "mandatory".......Which ever is greater. I plead to the guidelines so the court sentenced me to those guidelines (which are mandatory) I thought.
    UNLESS YOU GO TO TRIAL....then it's life.

    At sentecing..if you lose trial....the enhancements are unlimited.....there are that many. I have friends given an extra 25 years just on enhancements. Just to teach you a lesson....punishing a defendants because they elected to go to trial.....which is a 6th amm right. They don't give a shit about due process.
    GOOGLE ...U.S.S.G.. relevant coduct and the sentecing table. I believe it's sec 2d.1
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    Not knowing the Federal judicial / Correctional System as you do, from the inside out, which is a perspective I never really had the chance to understand, not that I understand it any better even after reading your post, I can understand the frustration you must have felt circumventing this system, but what should be done about any obvious inequities in the procedures regarding federal prisoners and the Appeal process? One can always criticize the situation but having a realistic and cost effective solution is where the problems really start..
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    JC,

    Cost shouldn't even be an issue. What's right is right. The problem is....these Congressman who ran on "anti crime' issues..along with "judges" kept reinterpreting case law causing "cirquit splits".....so they never intended to correct the problem....only the procedure (a quick fix) to address the cost.
    So they decided to screw everyone in the process...including you and your grand kids.

    When Congress passes a law (legislative intent usually explains why they're pasing the law) Then, the courts can interpret the law based on their own opinions about the statute and legislative intent.
    Example. Congress passes a law....The Moon is Blue.....The courts interpret.....Yes, the moon is blue...but it's baby blue sometimes.....then, the Bureau of prisons interpret regulations based on the courts ruling.......Yes, the moon is blue and baby blue....but we also see red.... in the blue and baby blue.

    Now... a defendant must begin his appeal fighting three different interpretations of one law.....The moon is blue.
    I hope this crude example explains it a little more clearer.
    Now,,,lets say an appellant prevails on the issue of the moon being blue......and thousands of other appeals are based on the same issue...the moon is blue.
    The Supreme court can rule....Yup, you are correct the moon is blue...but in your case....the moon was that "RED" that night....because we say so. Sorry...Appeal is denied
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    The problem I see or at least one of them is that getting a revision of the current Rules and Policies/ Procedures regarding the appeal process at the Federal level is to try and get a campaigning candidate to make it an issue, but you and I know that is never going to happen. Perhaps knowing this convoluted system of appeals could act as a deterrent if known before hand, or maybe try not getting into the federal system by committing crimes. Not meant as a wiseass comment but I see no other solution.
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    johnnycee Wrote: The problem I see or at least one of them is that getting a revision of the current Rules and Policies/ Procedures regarding the appeal process at the Federal level is to try and get a campaigning candidate to make it an issue, but you and I know that is never going to happen. Perhaps knowing this convoluted system of appeals could act as a deterrent if known before hand, or maybe try not getting into the federal system by committing crimes. Not meant as a wiseass comment but I see no other solution.
    No...I agree....they made a believer out of me. I stay out of the way.
    I always tell friends....You want my advice??? GET A JOB
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    This problem is far bigger than trying to convince someone running for office to submit a bill. The cops who racially profile and lock up nonviolent offenders for anything under the sun have to be stopped first. We have to stand up and tell our cops that it is not a crime to walk while black or brown. That will happen some day one way or the other and will either be done peacefully or by a civil insurrection of people who are fed up with the status quo of cops being judge, jury, and executioner.

    Then we have to figure out a way to stop having two separate justice systems. The one for rich people rewards you for being rich. It doesn't matter how guilty you are--if you're rich, you are most likely going to get off the hook no matter how terrible your crime was. You get to pick and choose your time of arrest and often get to voluntarily report yourself to prison after a nice vacation if you're convicted. And if on the small chance you are convicted, you are almost surely going to be given a much more lenient sentence and either be shipped off to the Club Med of prisons or slapped with an ankle bracelet and forced to stay confined in your mansion for a certain amount of time.

    The other justice system is the one for everyone else. In this system you are guilty until proven innocent. Even if you are innocent, you are encouraged to take a plea deal or threatened with the prospect of a life sentence behind bars for a crime you didn't commit. Your public defender has dozens of other cases on their books and hardly cares about you or your case. Nine out of ten times they will just tell you to make a deal so they can close your case and move on to the next unlucky sucker who got swept up in this crazy legal system that has turned locking people up into a national pastime.
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    Jared,

    Also....Loretta Lynch...thats a prosecutor....she already confirmed that she will never support legalization of marijuana. These growers are going to meet new resistance once she takes over. These growers don't fully understand the implications they may face.
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote: Also....Loretta Lynch...thats a prosecutor....she already confirmed that she will never support legalization of marijuana. These growers are going to meet new resistance once she takes over. These growers don't fully understand the implications they may face.
    She might be against pot, but the Obama Administration has already green lighted legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado, and is allowing the states that passed legalization by overwhelming majorities in 2014 to proceed. They have also begun to allow banking institutions to do business with legal dispensaries in those states, That is not going to change just because she is against legalization. She won't have the legal power to do anything other than voice her disapproval.
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: Also....Loretta Lynch...thats a prosecutor....she already confirmed that she will never support legalization of marijuana. These growers are going to meet new resistance once she takes over. These growers don't fully understand the implications they may face.
    She might be against pot, but the Obama Administration has already green lighted legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado, and is allowing the states that passed legalization by overwhelming majorities in 2014 to proceed. They have also begun to allow banking institutions to do business with legal dispensaries in those states, That is not going to change just because she is against legalization. She won't have the legal power to do anything other than voice her disapproval.
    Correct, but only because Eric Holder affirmed to these states that his administration (DOJ) would'nt pursue federal prosecutions. All bets may be of the table. You never know what they'll do....look at chuck hagel...turned on Obama like a rabid dog....same with panetta
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    hi im new here my names Donna

    i just wanna have a say bout prison system and how australia has been handling their crims.

    they have jobs in jail just like everywhere else some get out good behaviour or some have a job when released

    but thing is when humans are locked up for long time they get something wrong with them in open spaces being used of small enclosed cell.

    most crims live in small spaces like caravans one small room and walk to showers and toilets

    they never come out of naturaly becoming safe in small spaces .

    thats the problem i seen with men in australia , ending back in jails

    with problems like that we dont want caravans for permanent rent we want them for tourism

    they end up doing drugs to handle the boredom of being secluded too long makes them naughty , then the caravan parks are filled with disaster and abuse

    thankyou for listening

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    the justice department is inaccurately named. so are all departments of correction.

    the correct name is department of retribution/punishment.

    there is no interest in anything else.