Faced with Judge's ruling,
I pled guilty to a lesser charge so as not to spend
a mandatory ten years in federal prison
On November 19, 1999, I pled guilty to a lesser charge --
conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States government, namely the
manufacturer and distribution of marijuana -- or something along those lines.
This carries a sentence of 0 to 5 years, and the judge can, if he sentences me
to time, order me to serve it under "home detention" with
"electronic monitoring." This means I wear an electronic device around
my ankle and my whereabouts is tracked at all times. I am not to leave my house
except for medical or court appointments.
I "pled out" because, without a medical marijuana
defense, I have no defense at all. I would have been found guilty, and I would
have been given mandatory ten-year sentence with no possibility of parole.
Ten-year sentences, by law, cannot be served with electronic monitoring.
I would have gone to prison for at least one year and three
months, the amount of time it takes to make the first round of an appeal, and
would only have been released if the appeal were successful. Considering my
rapidly deteriorating medical condition and the level of contagion in federal
prisons, especially tuberculosis, I probably would have died a miserable death
within a year.
The Drug War doesn't need another martyr -- it has too many
Caught between a rock and a hard place, I made the choice that
gave me the only chance of staying out of prison, continuing my life, and doing
what I do best -- writing and other creative expressions designed to make this
world a more enjoyable place to live. (Contrary to romantic thought, prison is
the worst place in which to write. The month I spent in custody I was in
"survival mode" the whole time, and survival mode is the death of
creativity.) I'm sorry if I've let anyone down by not going through with the
I will be sentenced in May 2000.
Just now I need money to pay off some bills and to give me some
breathing space so I can gather all the information necessary to present to the
judge so that he might pass a compassionate sentence. If you have set aside any
money to help me at trial or with an appeal, please break the piggy bank now and
Writing letters to
the sentencing judge would be most helpful. Please click here.
I want to thank everyone for their kindness, encouragement, and
support during this horrific time.
I love you all.