When I was a kid in 1976 I got three tickets for marijuana possession. I paid my fines. In 1979 I had a 3rd degree assault - also a misdemeanor - also when I was a kid.
I worked at a factory from 1974 until 1994 when the company left for Mexico for cheaper labor. I went back to school to learn a new trade. I finished school and began to look for work. To no avail.
I exhausted my unemployment during my job search and began to look into a starting a home based business with a nutritional health company. In April of 1996, I was on my way after going to seminars, listening to self-help tapes and learning all I needed to learn in order to run a business myself.
One day there was a knock at my door and there was my half brother. Our mother had been electrocuted during a car accident in 1973, and that was when we first met. I hadn't seen him for over 20 years.
We began to finally have a relationship, but he introduced me to cocaine and I formed a habit of it in no time at all. I sold to support it. I was eventually arrested for it along with my brother and our girlfriends.
I was put into the "cooperation vehicle" but I wouldn't cooperate. They went through my home, finding 5 marijuana plants and 28.10 grams of cocaine.
My father got me an attorney and the attorney told me that he had gotten lab reports and said, "I don't know how to read these damn reports. Do you?" Then he told me not to worry... eventually the DA dropped the marijuana charges.
I ended up pleading to possession and the lab reports not understood by my attorney carried the weight of the containers.
My first felony gave me 8 1/2 years to life. I live in New York state and was sentenced under the Rockefeller Drug Laws.
My girlfriend and I have been together for 20 years, have a son that is 5. My step daughter is expecting her first child this July. My son will be 10 years old before I'm eligible for parole.
I know that others get far more time - some less. There is no justice here. It's all about political power and the money that goes with it. My half-brother got 6 years to life as a 4th time drug offender. He turned in his supplier and got the minimum.
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