Most people don’t understand what a federal conspiracy is. In fact, most people don’t care if it doesn’t directly impact them. I myself didn’t really dig in to see what it was all about until it directly impacted me. It’s a shame that we don’t take the time to hold elected officials accountable for the laws they pass. We really don’t pay a lot of attention to them unless we come in direct contact with them.
Conspiracy law was originally aimed at organized crime but can now be applied to almost anything. I think the biggest debate should involve drug conspiracies. Any person in this country who sells even a minute amount of drugs they received from someone who “runs a drug business” under conspiracy law can be held responsible for all of the drugs bought and sold that can be linked back to this person. Make sense? I didn’t think so. So I dug deeper into the law and began to become outraged at what is happening everywhere in the county.
There are currently almost 500,000 people incarcerated in this country on these charges. Most for ten years or more. My son is one of them. He is lucky I guess, because he has tremendous family support and we will fight for him until our dying breath. But, what about the ones who have no support. Can’t even make a call to family because they have no money to put on the prepaid phone. Or have a candy bar once in a while for lack of money to purchase one for twice the price downtown. Most of these inmates are in this position. And almost all of them didn’t run a business, they sold drugs to finance very expensive habits.
Here is the first part of the real conspiracy;
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution
We are guaranteed as a simple and basic right a trial by jury. Yet, all research suggests that waiving that right and pleading guilty results in a lower sentence. In fact, many people in drug conspiracies have tried this avenue and been given not the mandatory minimum sentence but one twice as long. Generally, these people are not seeking acquittal but a sentence relative to the facts of their involvement. This is our first failing.
The second part of the real conspiracy;
Prosecuting attorneys are given the right to decide what charges are thrown at people. They are responsible for deciding whether or not a person is eligible for a mandatory minimum sentence. This in effect disables the judge’s the ability to weigh the “actual” evidence and decide on an appropriate sentence. Hence the fact that we have so many people incarcerated for at least ten years.
The third part of the real conspiracy;
Ever tried to hire a federal attorney? Well they need a $25,000 retainer. If, like me, you don’t have that hiding in a drawer somewhere, you either take a second mortgage on your house or rely on a court-appointed attorney. Not that I have a problem with court-appointed attorneys or anything, but, I truly feel that you are not going to get the best defense. For starters, they make less than that retainer when paid by the court. Then they are on a friendly basis with the prosecution and sometimes adhere to whatever they say in order to rush the case through for the little bit they get paid. This can all leave a person feeling as though they are “in cahoots” with the court.
The fourth part of the conspiracy;
While I have great respect for law enforcement, some of the things I’ve seen in my son’s case are questionable. There are many, many people whose involvement in this case can be described as organizer and higher level “conspirators” than my son, yet they were never indicted. Know why? Because they told on all of the others and are now walking the streets, free to start business with the next batch of addicts. Maybe even in our home town. (See; Drug Trafficking Law Helps Big Dealers at Little Guy’s Expense).
The fourth part of the conspiracy;
Our representatives in the United States of America have made all of this possible. They have drafted, approved and put into action laws that take away our basic rights. They have promoted the following of these rules and apply them to everyone regardless of circumstances. They pretend to listen when you contact them to discuss how wrong these are and yet continue in the war on Americans. Instead of sitting back and saying, “Wait a minute, this isn’t working. This is killing or crippling a generation of people and we need to make changes.” they push forward with this stupidness and call their actions noble.
Am I saying that we shouldn’t punish drug offenders, no. What I’m saying is that even if someone is accused of a crime, they have the same rights as anyone else. It’s time to make a change.