Plea bargains have been instrumental in filling our prisons, often forcing people to take a plea when they have been threatened with monstrous prison sentences. When you can’t afford to pay an attorney – and this is who our injustice system goes after – families end up losing a parent, son, daughter and friends. Worst of all, the person who may have actually committed the crime gets away with it.
We all know of the racial injustice in this country and the drive to incarcerate people of color – especially the men – which then also has the effect of most of them losing the right to vote to change the system, or the ability to raise and educate their children.
Jamie was offered a 45 year plea deal the first time around. When he insisted on going to court they lowered it to 17 years, (so he would feel grateful?) and if he didn’t take it he would end up with a sentence of 50-99 years. What would you do?
He has now almost completed 13 1/2 years. If you have followed along with any of the chapters I have posted of the book I am writing about his life inside – Inside The Forbidden Outside -you know how awful that can be, not only physically, but mentally. I received a letter three days ago about the prison he is housed in currently and I will be writing about what I learned. I promise you, if you had to live through this you would be working just as hard to try to change this system.