Kevin and I continued to talk about surviving incarceration in our new world, and what our new realities were. My reality was dealing with our investments; trying to make money with option trades in a sinking market with only a few weeks training; dealing with putting the house on the market and if it didn’t sell, foreclosure; and worst of all, losing my best friend and husband to a system that is so screwed up you wouldn’t believe it!
For him, struggling to deal with incarceration after being forced to plea bargain due to (a) lack of money to mount a proper trial defense and (b) the risk of losing at trial; dealing with commissary limits on purchases (he couldn’t buy anything else for a month); surviving with slop prison food; and, trading in a new currency (stamps).
Stamps can buy most of what inmates want in prison such as cake, dinner, wine, pot, and probably all kinds of things I will never learn more about! I’d heard inmates smoke pot in the showers (supposedly the CO’s (compound officers) bring it in). When I mentioned it to Kevin, he said that was true and that he had seen its use. There is a “no see/no tell policy” among the inmates or you are labeled a snitch. That is probably as bad as being a “cho-mo” (child molester).
What I’m about to share will give you goose bumps and is so hard to believe. I haven’t verified everything yet, but there is enough out there to make me want to dig even more. If this IS true, then trust me, it will become part of our mission to expose how corrupt the system is.
When it was time to go, another woman, Carol, approached me and told me she was glad that I had been able to make it to visitation given my clothing issues of the last few days. We chatted. Again, I felt as if God was putting another person in my path so I could learn. She revealed that her husband had already served one year out of his 10-year sentence. He had been charged with the intent of mail fraud…. intent! He had not done anything, but was indicted and ultimately sentenced based on intent! He was a paralegal who did research for attorneys for issues with the IRS.
Long story, but he had mailed out a letter to his clients stating that if they were having certain issues with the IRS that he could help. The attorneys he worked for liked the letter and asked if they could use it. They did and it came to the attention of the government through an investigation of the husband’s boss. The prosecutors tried to use three paralegals, who did research for the boss, to testify to set up the boss. The aforementioned letter was the pressure point to get Carol’s husband to cooperate. Ultimately, this paralegal didn’t cooperate and didn’t take the plea bargain offer for 11 months since he maintained he wasn’t guilty of any crime. Not taking the plea deal was costly. He was sentenced to 10 years by the judge. The jurors slept through the trial according to Carol.
Her story really rationalized our decision to take the plea bargain and cut our losses. The 10-1 (plea bargain time v. judge-imposed sentence time) risk factor was a reality for Carol and her husband. This happens all the time in our criminal justice system. The judges will VERY unfairly hit a defendant for going to trial.