Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stephanie's Story: Life Sentence commuted after 17 years Incarcerated..

Slavery by Another Name..some do not get another chance and there are many doing double life, women of color, for non-violent, even 1st Time offender status, behind prison walls..It is a Travesty! Yes, don't do the crime if you can't do the time, heard it before, however..can the time fit the crime? There are so many young young poor women behind bars because of lack of judgment, which most times includes having a relationship with drug dealers and ignorantly allowing the person to stash drugs in their house, however, the Feds will allow that man to sell out the woman for a lighter sentence, and it happens allllll the time. All I and others ask for is "common sense" laws. Throwing an human being's entire life away over something this petty is nonsensical...

I can say I am thankful for what President Obama and Attorney General Holder are attempting to do for women and others like Stephanie. Let's not forget it will be quite the feat for Stephanie to return to some sort of semblance of life, like finding employment due to having the stigma of felonies and also serving such a long prison sentence. Commutation is different from a Pardon whereas you are cleared of any wrongdoing.

Here is the legal definition of Commutation:

Commutation implies the penalty was excessive or there has been rehabilitation, reform, or other circumstances such as good conduct or community service. Commutation is sometimes used when there is evidence that the defendant was not guilty but it would prove embarrassing to admit an outright error by the courts.

Thats rite! Instead of admit wrongdoing, the system out of sheer ego will allow a person to die in prison or worst yet, go to the electric chair. 


Last week, Stephanie George, a single mother of two, changed out of her prison khakis and into a white blouse and white slacks, then stepped outside the gates of the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Fla. After spending 17 years behind bars for a minor role in a drug-dealing operation, she was headed home to Pensacola. At an emotional gathering at her sister’s house later that day, George’s family sat around a table laden with turkey, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese -- a Thanksgiving dinner three days before Easter. 

Until then, George was one of thousands of Americans serving life without parole for a nonviolent drug offense, as the ACLU documented in a recent report. When she was 25, police found a half-kilogram of cocaine that the father of one of her children had stashed in her attic. Although George denied knowing anything about the drugs, six admitted drug dealers testified that she'd been paid to keep the drugs hidden. They received reduced sentences in exchange for their cooperation with prosecutors. 

At George's sentencing hearing, Judge Roger Vinson expressed misgivings about locking her up for life. But the federal government’s mandatory sentencing system left no alternative, in part because George had previously been convicted of selling small amounts of crack. 

In December, President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of drug offenses, including George. On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the administration plans to further expand its clemency process, in order to allow more people like George to return to their communities and families. 

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