Gaetano Izzo -- #16260-053
25 Years -- Drug Conspiracy
I am writing to you with the fervent hope that you may be of some assistance to me in my plight. I am at my wit's end and have nowhere else to turn.
I went to trial in 1991 and during the course of that trial I went through three lawyers. My first lawyer and I met with the prosecutor and before I spoke with them I had to sign an agreement. My lawyer read it and said it was fine. My lawyer and I spoke to the prosecutors three times and told them that I had no knowledge about the case. The prosecutors even went so far as to call me a "mope."
It was three weeks before my trial date and my lawyer said there was no way he could go to trial because something had come up. he offered to get me another lawyer who would fight for me. I agreed of course. The judge refused to delay the trial or give me a separation from the case. I was offered a plea bargain of ten years but my new lawyer said "for what?" as I hadn't done anything.
Well, we went to trial and I ended up being found guilty and sentenced to twenty five years. Just before the prosecutor rested his case he gave my lawyer a copy of the agreement that I had signed with my first lawyer, and it stated that 'I could not bring forth any witnesses in my favor or they would bring forth what I said to them at that agreement meeting. This made my new lawyer very angry. We appealed this motion but were denied. My lawyer spoke with both the prosecutors and the judge and was told that this was a standard agreement.
Neither of my lawyers knew about the paragraph in the agreement concerning "no witnesses" as it was added after I signed it by the arresting officer. The prosecutor told the judge that the detective must have 'forgotten' to add it in before signing. If my lawyer and I had known of this I would have pled guilty.
Since then I had acquired a third lawyer. He filed motion on my behalf for a new trial on grounds that a DEA detective that testified against me lied. Eventually this detective was investigated by the Grand Jury and fired from the agency. Since that time my third lawyer has himself been indicted in Federal Court. and now here I am not knowing where to turn. I have been incarcerated for approximately eight years now, am sixty years old. What is there for me to look forward to?
The Government never has proven that I had knowledge of the drugs involved. Yet I was charged with all of it, found guilty for all of it, and sentenced accordingly. Even though it was stated that I had a 'minor' role in this case.
My first attorney of record was representing a co-defendant while at the same time representing me. The lawyer had my co-defendant plead guilty while having me plead not guilty. By so doing this I feel that he violated my chance for a fair and impartial trial. My second lawyer stated to the prosecutor that I wasn't brought into the beginning of the conspiracy and that no one testified against me at my trial.
I could keep going on and on with this tale of woe but to what good?
At home I have a sixty-six-year old wife who is in poor health and lives on Social Security payments of $169 a month. I send her what meager amount I can from working in the prison industry.