Of all those charged in federal court, 96% plead guilty and opt for some form of plea-bargain. Many also “cooperate” in one form or another and snitch out others to get extra consideration for themselves. The actor, Tim Allen, is one of those examples.
Award winning snitch...
Timothy Allen Dick (his actual name) was facing natural life in prison in Michigan back in 1978 under the then prevailing law for getting busted with a kilo of cocaine. He was fortunate (he claimed) in that he knew 21 other people involved with him that he could snitch out to save his own sorry ass.
The sorrier fact is, only 4% of those convicted in federal court have gone to trial. more…
When rich folks steal stuff and make a deal, it’s called a settlement. When we do it, it’s called a plea bargain.
Allow me to offer an example… Our ol’ cell-buddy, Bernie Madoff, #61727-054, doing 150 years (out-date: 2139) at FCC Butner, NC, reveals some more of his story.
Understandably enough, I guess, Bernie’s pretty pissed. His son Mark, 46, committed suicide and his family’s blaming him. I think he’d like a little more respect and appreciation from the sewer rats he once served. more…
Without snitches and plea bargains, there would hardly be a prison system. Cops would have to actually learn and perform detection work (which is mostly TV fiction), and prosecutors and judges would have to try cases.
Haji Juma Khan
In a system where an abundance of the criminalization of individuals includes a multitude of sin/religious, moral, and consensual crimes, over 90% of felonies charged are plea bargained to avoid trial.
This tends to have defendants grossly over-charged to begin with in anticipation that the charges will later be plea-bargained. Kind of like the boosted “sales” in many stores…fiction to begin with. Another gambit is charging, or threatening to charge, family members. “Cooperate,” and they go free. Conservatives prefer the idea of justice as “business.” more…
Given the news over the past weekend, I’m reminded of some time I spent in Mississippi in ’63 and ’64. I was lucky…Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, not so lucky…
House that blood built...
Many years later, I had an acquaintance in one of the federal prisons—don’t even recall his real name, everyone called him Mississippi Mud. He was an old guy in a wheelchair and he’d been convicted on some ancient civil rights case…a lynching. Mud was quite a character. more…
Some yrs ago, while watching the TV news about the impending Lautenberg Amendment, I was floored when a spokesman for the FBI testified before a Congressional committee asking for an exemption for police officers.
Sgt. Mike Tindall
That Amendment proposed to forbid the possession of guns by those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.
The FBI spokesman cited studies that showed that up to 40% of police officers in America would be effectively disarmed if the Amendment passed as written! 40%?!?
I doubt the figure is that high even for convicted felons. In the general population, the figure is 10%–and that’s too high.
I was surprised that the FBI made the police/domestic violence studies so public. In my experience, the courts would hardly ever prosecute such actions against police and other state-actors in any event. more…
“What’s the first thing you should do when you find yourself in a hole?”
Walking around the track one day at FCI Ray Brook, Lake Placid, NY, one of my exercise buddies—a general contractor from Virginia—showed me a letter he wrote. It was addressed to the Attorney General of that state.
Bruce had been convicted of bank fraud in a contracting scheme, where he had also stiffed his sub-contractors. He was doing a 10-yr bit, “old law,” which meant he would-max out after 7 yrs.
I read the letter and was frankly astounded at his political and social naiveté—to put it politely. He was a pretty conservative type and was always good for a lively argument, but this was simply beyond the pale. more…
Just as one sister, Marilyn Buck, is released (only in time to die at home 3 wks later, saving the Bureau the expense), another fills her space at the infamous FMC Carswell, a women’s federal prison in Texas—a state that never quite got over its wannabe-slave roots.
Marie Jeanette Mason, 48, #04672-061. “Eco-terrorist.”
I thought they’d listen. I meant to inspire thought and compassion for those without a voice in the world. I thought to create a consciousness where innocence reigns…I thought to bring reason and justice to a Nature that spent uncounted millions of years to achieve its measure of wisdom.
While Carswell claims to be a medical facility, it is in fact a catch-all administrative center for female prisoners (the largest growing demographic in American criminal “justice”). The primary care provided by the BOP and its “medical” personnel, is essentially documentation—a paper chase. Actual care, much less medical procedures, is virtually non-existent. FMC Carswell is a prison, one of the worst. more…
One afternoon, the Business Manager was discussing the need to hire another CPA for all the work coming into our local Federal Prison Industries, Inc., factory, UNICOR.
As the clerk to the Factory Manager, I suggested that I had an idea for how to get an accountant for practically free from the prison population.
“Really?” said the Business Manager. “Do you know an inmate here who’s a CPA?”
“Not exactly,” I replied. “But I have an idea. Contact the local U.S. Attorney’s office and ask them to mail a plea deal out to every CPA listed in the local Yellow Pages.
“Have them offer, say, a three-year plea bargain on an open felony charge in return for immunity from prosecution for anything else.”
The Business Manager turned to the Factory Manager with a smirk, “Your clerk has quite a sense of humor…”
“No, really! Try it,” I said. “I’ll bet you get acceptance letters from maybe half of them—or bankers, lawyers, doctors–whomever you want. “I mean, basically, that’s how the system works.”
Bobby was an interesting prisoner. Black, mid-20s, and perfectly polite all of the time as only the well-disciplined mentally retarded can be.
Time for a new partner...
Bobby was certified retarded all of his life. Something to do with oxygen to the brain as a baby. So, what’s he doing in prison? Glad you asked.
Bobby was the victim of some of his local “friends” back in the ‘hood, and he was the victim of a zealous prosecutor and a hapless judge (to be generous). more…
I was told a couple of prisoners took a swan dive off the 80’ bluff in the quarry, so that’s why they had us all chained together. We worked from “cain’t see-to-cain’t see” (dawn to dark). Not very efficient use of labor, but that was the point.
NY University Press
We hammered and chipped and chiseled slate rock blasted out of the quarry side into “builders,” blocks about 8” deep by 3’ square. I’d guess maybe 300 pounds each. They were used by the TVA and other projects to build bases for bridges and dams.
One of the first lessons I was taught in the South is if you’re from up North, you’re a “yankee.” If you’re from up North and come down South, you’re a “damn yankee.” And if you’re from up North, come down South, and try to tell them folks how to run their affairs, then you’re a “God-damned Yankee!” You might guess my status… It was 1964. The name of my enemy was Jim Crow. more…