Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 47198
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2018/11/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/21   

2007/7/6-10 [Health, Reference/Law/Court] UID:47198 Activity:kinda low
7/6     FREE CLARENCE AARON:
        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/cases/aaron.html
        \_ Yes, because an interview with a convicted criminal is never
           one-sided.
        \_ the first time offender got 3 consecutive life terms for being a
           middle man in 1 drug deal.  Do you really think that's fair?
           \_ Who are you responding to?
           \_ Or so he claims.
              \_ even if he personally inserted cocaine into the noses
                 of 80 school children, do you think he should get life
                 without parole?
                 \_ Given that we don't know the whole story, I have no idea
                    what the proper penalty should be.
                        \_ There's a link on that page to a prosecutor's
                           comment and explanation of the case and sentence.
                           still seems just a little harsh.
                           \_ And you didn't post the link why?
                              \_ Pure laziness actually.
                                 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/cases/clark.html
                                 http://urltea.com/xgd (pbs.org)
                                 I dont like mandantory anything.
                                 \_ I don't see anything from the prosecutor.
                                    But at any rate there's a lengthy interview
                                    with the defense attorney there.  Still the
                                    same side of the story.
                    \_ Screw the circumstances, if he personally inserted coke
                       into the noses of 80 school children, the answer is
                       YES, he should get life without parole, first-time
                       \_ I was joking...
                          \_ Aaaaand?
                       offender or not. Some things are just beyond the pale.
                       As for the current situation, well, that's a different
                       matter.
2018/11/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
11/21   

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Either tell the truth, probably go to prison for the rest of your life, or lie, cooperate with the government, do whatever it takes to get a lesser sentence. I had some friends out of Mobile, and they was in some type of drug activities, and I met some guys out of Louisiana that I became friends with, and I found out that they was into some type of drug activities. So me going back and forth from college home, I used to talk about these guys. They'd had nice cars and thing like that, and I thought that they might be dealing some type of drugs or something like that. So one particular day, my friend Robert called me at Louisiana to ask me, could I introduce the two parties? He say, "Well, if you can introduce us, I'll get you fifteen hundred dollars, if you can introduce us we can come to some type of agreement." So I got in touch with Gary and told Gary that my friends out of Alabama wanted to meet him. But I was involved because I had introduced the two parties and the two parties didn't know each other well enough to trust each other. Neither party trusted each other so I had to be there just to smooth the way between the two parties... The only thing I can see I was involved in was introducing the two parties. As far as them making some type of transaction, whatever they wanted to get from each other, I don't know, but I did introduce the two parties ... I got charged with things that the other guys in my conspiracy did not get charged with. Only thing I did was introduce the two parties, and I got charged with the most of everything. Robert got five to seven years, I think Tino got between 12 and 14 years, and Gary got 20 years. Because during the time that I got incarcerated and prior to trial, I think they wanted me to cooperate, but I ain't have nothing to cooperate about ... The only thing I did know was that I introduced the two parties, I felt that both parties did have some type of activities, but that's as far as I could give them. I couldn't give no name, no places, none of that and so ... I feel that my biggest mistake was if I never post bond at the county jail, maybe everything would be different because I would have known then that they were conspiring to put everything on me. semester just starting, the jurors granted me bond with a lot of stipulations, so I didn't get a chance to know what exactly was going on until trial, until I heard them testify on the stand ... More hurt than anything because these are friends of mine and I couldn't believe the things that they were saying about me ... I hadn't had an opportunity even to talk to none of them ... I had no idea what was going on because I was out on bond and I was in two states over in Louisiana in school at the time. They was in Alabama getting with one another, trying to get their stories to corroborate. What was it like having your friends testify against you? It really truly hurt me, Robert and James really hurt me 'cause James is my first cousin. We grew up together from playing Pop ball all the way up to high school ball together, and I couldn't believe that they would sit there, in front of me ... I don't remember exactly how that went, but he called me and told me that the prosecutor wanted to talk to me and I said, "Talk to me about what?" And he say, "Well, I done went down here and I talked to them and I think they want to talk to you now." So I tell him I don't have nothing to talk to him about because I don't know what's going on. there, we was going to have some fun -- which we was, you know, just like a weekend out. But see, when he testified to that, which was true, the prosecutor got mad with James and pulled him out of the courtroom and told him ... But all I know is from that point on, James got real scary ... I got a chance to talk to him, I asked him, "James, is Miss Griffin, the prosecutor, holding something over your head?" So at this time they declared a mistrial and take Bob as my attorney. He hurt me by taking the first attorney I felt that I had a chance with, and he hurt me again by getting on the stand and telling them lies against me, and putting me in things that I wasn't into. I said, "What you mean you have no choice in the matter?" He say "Because Miss Griffin say she didn't want Bob to try your case." didn't cooperate and do what she told him to do, that she was going to hurt him worse in his case ... He say, "Well, the prosecutor Miss Griffin said if I don't do it she going to put me in prison for the rest of my life ... At first I had mixed emotions about James, this is somebody I looked up to all my life ... He got up there and did that to me on the stand, James ain't never even wrote me. and he had opportunity to try and make some type of amends with me. Even though that ain't going to make no difference, he could have had a chance to speak out and not be afraid. I have never even actually sat down, I ain't never even talked to Miss Griffin, the prosecutor. Only person I ever talk with was my attorney, so if they say they tried to get me to cooperate, I don't know nothing about it. I think one time my attorney came to me and said that, "Take a plea bargain and cooperate," or something like that, but I told him, "What am I going to cooperate to? At the time it all happened, I don't think if I wanted to cooperate at the time I could have. I don't know, something inside of me wouldn't let me cooperate, get with her and conjure up some ideas about some other guys or whatever she wanted me to ... It was just something about this whole situation wouldn't let me do it. Now with me being in the system, know how the system is today, maybe I would have took a plea bargain. And going out and getting me a nine to five, getting into corporate America, one day, probably own my own business ... You know, sit down and try to be a productive citizen, prior to all this happening ... that they would have gave me three life sentences running concurrent ... You going to give me life, but give all the other guys three years, five years ... Trying to do something positive for me and my family ... And probably doing the same thing they were doing before they went in. I felt I should have got no more than Robert, Chris, or even James. I am guilty of hooking up the two parties, and I knew that both parties was in some type of drug activities, yes, but about selling drugs ... I thought I shouldn't have got no more even than the minimum of probation, the most boot camp or five years in prison ... I feel good about myself because I don't have nobody's blood on my ass. I ain't even talk to my other side of the family no more. At one time we were one close knit family, now a whole lot changed ... One rule of thumb, you do not discuss your case unless you discuss it with somebody that's trying to help you ... Conspiracy law is just too vague, for one, not to even get caught, no surveillance tapes, no telephone conversations, no money, no drugs. You ain't got nothing but my word against somebody else's word, so what makes somebody else's word better than mine? People, by any means, now, is trying to go home, so the best thing they can do ... is try to come up with some type of case against somebody else to try and get time reduction ... You got guys that leave here every month, go out back testify against somebody. You got so many in the system now, though, they hang out with each other, you can't get around them. Two-thirds of them do, it's a day to day life in here now. That's one of the main reasons people don't discuss their cases. Now, I still blame them, but I can see now that a lot of them, that was their only choice, you know? Either they going to find somebody to testify on, follow the rules of the prosecutor, or they going to get stuck in prison for the rest of their life. Either tell the truth, probably go to prison for the rest of your life, or lie, cooperate with the government, do whatever it takes to get a lesser sentence. The easy road is to cooperate with the government, do whatever the government want them to do, testify to whatever they want them to do, and in return they receive favors. So, to keep from the truth coming out, they ain't ...
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He had met another fellow that was a bondsman there, and Mr Aaron, according to the government, not according to Mr Aaron, but according to the government, Clarence Aaron had gone to Houston on two, possibly three, occasions and had brought back from Houston some cocaine into the Middle District of Louisiana I believe it was, and into the Southern District of Alabama. According to the government he was given a few thousand dollars to make these trips and bring the cocaine here. Once he got here, some of the cocaine was cooked into crack, so he became responsible for the crack cocaine, and since it was more than one and a half kilos, he got life in the penitentiary without the possibility of parole. He was tried with a bail bondsman from Louisiana, just the two of them were tried, but the conspiracy I think probably was eight or ten different people, and I think that according to the government there was no question that Clarence Aaron was just a mule. He was just, according to them, hauling drugs from time to time. The codefendant that got Clarence involved, according to the government, got, if I'm not mistaken, about 17 or 18 years. But since some of the cocaine was brought to Mobile and turned into crack, then Clarence Aaron became responsible for the crack, even though he didn't cook it, he didn't have anything to do with it, he became responsible for it in the structure of the conspiracy. So his boss up the line got 18 years, and as a carrier since he was responsible for the crack, he got the life without. I've forgotten how many snitches they had, it was four or five snitches. Various people that told the story of him going out to Houston and bringing back the drugs. Clarence got the most time because he refused to snitch. He refused to be a rat for the government, so as an example, they loaded his wagon. He refused because he was honorable or because he didn't know anything? Everybody up the food chain from him had already been convicted. There was nobody underneath him, so there wasn't much that he could say anyway. I think he said, "I have done whatever, and if I get convicted I'm willing to take my medicine." I was up until the morning of the trial, and the government came in with a witness and conflicted me out, and Dennis Knizley tried the case. Snitches are used by the government because it makes their life a lot easier. They can have a witness to any particular fact they want by making a deal with a snitch. Substantial assistance means that you have done what the government asked you to do. Let's say that you don't know anything, that you're on the bottom of the food chain. Then you can't get substantial assistence because you don't know enough. Unless you're willing to lie just a little bit and help the government. The lawyers for the government are working for the government and their object and whole objective in life is to get people convicted. What they usually do is tell the cooperating individual what the truth is, and then he sings their song. The government usually scripts the story and they say this is what everybody has done, and this is what everybody knows, let's all get it together. In fact, when they try people here in the Southern District of Alabama, they put all the rats and snitches together in one cell, and after they testify, they go back to the snitch cell and compare stories and compare notes and if the prosecutor's mad at one of them for having said something wrong, then the rest of them know not to say that. The government, they always say, "I would have preferred to have a priest come in, but the defendant didn't hang out with priests. He hung out with scumbags and low rent types, and that's what we had to make a case out of." A conspiracy is any two people that you can throw one blanket over. If you and I get drunk sitting in a bar, and we say something to the effect, "Why don't we go get us some cocaine and sell it and make a lot of money," that is a conspiracy. Once we've made the agreement, we have committed a heinous criminal offense. We could be sitting there, and 30 minutes later say, "Well, no, it's a bad idea." The essence of most federal criminal cases is the conspiracy count. Conspiracy means that if you were in the same room at any given time in your life with somebody that did something criminal, then you're part of that conspiracy. The law is you have to have knowledge of it and you have to intend to join a conspiracy, but that's so much horse feathers. The way it works is that they can get anybody for conspiracy. There's no proof that anybody had any drugs, other than some rat comes up and says we had drugs. And the prosecutor says, "If you just say you had drugs, then Mr X or whomever it is, he's only going to go to prison for six or eight years. But if you say, 'We had a kilo and a half of crack cocaine,' we can send him away for a million years. "We bet this much was involved," and that's how much it is. That's what the snitch is going to say, and it's made so that the greater the amount, the longer the time, the better the numbers ... You can sit in your office and say, "We have a conspiracy." You cannot file a motion on your own or have your lawyer file a motion. Only the government in its infinite wisdom can file for a Rule 35, to have your sentence reduced. Once the government has made the departure motion, the judge can give any sentence he wants to. But a lot of times they will sentence someone and send them off to jail, and then a new defendant will arrive on the scene and they go to the usual snitch pen and say, "Who knows something about him?" and so everybody raises their hand and they come forward and they say, "Well, I want more time off. I made a good deal last time and to snitch on somebody else, I want some more time off." And the prosecutor can file a Rule 35 motion and ask the judge to give them even more time off. I mean he can work it so he can really reduce his time in the penitentiary. I think that most jurors believe snitches because they trust the government. They're trusting their government to do the right thing. The jurors usually have no earthly idea of what kind of sentence is going to be imposed. I think most jurors, if they were told what punishment the crimes carry or conviction carries, ... would have serious doubts or would reflect on it more seriously than what they do now. Theoretically, are supposed to be kept in the dark so they'll be fair and impartial. Of course if you're very clever defense lawyer usually you can get that in. You take the snitch and go to the black board and put on how much time he was originally looking at and most jurors can figure out that's how much time your client is looking at. You know, if they're asleep, most of the time they don't, but ... I don't know how you could run a criminal justice system without the use of informants, but at the same time, it allows itself for such abuse. I seriously doubt that any of them tell the truth when they testify. Doesn't matter what the witness says, what the snitch says. If I offered a witness a hundred dollar bill to come down and say it my way, I'd go to prison for that. But yet the government can give them something far more precious than money. It's like chemotherapy, you know, you have to have it some times, but nobody likes it. You don't have to have it to the extent that is used today. I think that there should be more regulations of how you're going to use them and under what circumstances you can use them. I don't think that you should be allowed to try a dry conspiracy. If you don't catch nobody with no drugs, then, you know, no harm, no foul. It lends itself to a perversion of the system when people can take the stand and lie with impunity, because the government never indicts anybody.
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He had met another fellow that was a bondsman there, and Mr Aaron, according to the government, not according to Mr Aaron, but according to the government, Clarence Aaron had gone to Houston on two, possibly three, occasions and had brought back from Houston some cocaine into the Middle District of Louisiana I believe it was, and into the Southern District of Alabama. According to the government he was given a few thousand dollars to make these trips and bring the cocaine here. Once he got here, some of the cocaine was cooked into crack, so he became responsible for the crack cocaine, and since it was more than one and a half kilos, he got life in the penitentiary without the possibility of parole. He was tried with a bail bondsman from Louisiana, just the two of them were tried, but the conspiracy I think probably was eight or ten different people, and I think that according to the government there was no question that Clarence Aaron was just a mule. He was just, according to them, hauling drugs from time to time. The codefendant that got Clarence involved, according to the government, got, if I'm not mistaken, about 17 or 18 years. But since some of the cocaine was brought to Mobile and turned into crack, then Clarence Aaron became responsible for the crack, even though he didn't cook it, he didn't have anything to do with it, he became responsible for it in the structure of the conspiracy. So his boss up the line got 18 years, and as a carrier since he was responsible for the crack, he got the life without. I've forgotten how many snitches they had, it was four or five snitches. Various people that told the story of him going out to Houston and bringing back the drugs. Clarence got the most time because he refused to snitch. He refused to be a rat for the government, so as an example, they loaded his wagon. He refused because he was honorable or because he didn't know anything? Everybody up the food chain from him had already been convicted. There was nobody underneath him, so there wasn't much that he could say anyway. I think he said, "I have done whatever, and if I get convicted I'm willing to take my medicine." I was up until the morning of the trial, and the government came in with a witness and conflicted me out, and Dennis Knizley tried the case. Snitches are used by the government because it makes their life a lot easier. They can have a witness to any particular fact they want by making a deal with a snitch. Substantial assistance means that you have done what the government asked you to do. Let's say that you don't know anything, that you're on the bottom of the food chain. Then you can't get substantial assistence because you don't know enough. Unless you're willing to lie just a little bit and help the government. The lawyers for the government are working for the government and their object and whole objective in life is to get people convicted. What they usually do is tell the cooperating individual what the truth is, and then he sings their song. The government usually scripts the story and they say this is what everybody has done, and this is what everybody knows, let's all get it together. In fact, when they try people here in the Southern District of Alabama, they put all the rats and snitches together in one cell, and after they testify, they go back to the snitch cell and compare stories and compare notes and if the prosecutor's mad at one of them for having said something wrong, then the rest of them know not to say that. The government, they always say, "I would have preferred to have a priest come in, but the defendant didn't hang out with priests. He hung out with scumbags and low rent types, and that's what we had to make a case out of." A conspiracy is any two people that you can throw one blanket over. If you and I get drunk sitting in a bar, and we say something to the effect, "Why don't we go get us some cocaine and sell it and make a lot of money," that is a conspiracy. Once we've made the agreement, we have committed a heinous criminal offense. We could be sitting there, and 30 minutes later say, "Well, no, it's a bad idea." The essence of most federal criminal cases is the conspiracy count. Conspiracy means that if you were in the same room at any given time in your life with somebody that did something criminal, then you're part of that conspiracy. The law is you have to have knowledge of it and you have to intend to join a conspiracy, but that's so much horse feathers. The way it works is that they can get anybody for conspiracy. There's no proof that anybody had any drugs, other than some rat comes up and says we had drugs. And the prosecutor says, "If you just say you had drugs, then Mr X or whomever it is, he's only going to go to prison for six or eight years. But if you say, 'We had a kilo and a half of crack cocaine,' we can send him away for a million years. "We bet this much was involved," and that's how much it is. That's what the snitch is going to say, and it's made so that the greater the amount, the longer the time, the better the numbers ... You can sit in your office and say, "We have a conspiracy." You cannot file a motion on your own or have your lawyer file a motion. Only the government in its infinite wisdom can file for a Rule 35, to have your sentence reduced. Once the government has made the departure motion, the judge can give any sentence he wants to. But a lot of times they will sentence someone and send them off to jail, and then a new defendant will arrive on the scene and they go to the usual snitch pen and say, "Who knows something about him?" and so everybody raises their hand and they come forward and they say, "Well, I want more time off. I made a good deal last time and to snitch on somebody else, I want some more time off." And the prosecutor can file a Rule 35 motion and ask the judge to give them even more time off. I mean he can work it so he can really reduce his time in the penitentiary. I think that most jurors believe snitches because they trust the government. They're trusting their government to do the right thing. The jurors usually have no earthly idea of what kind of sentence is going to be imposed. I think most jurors, if they were told what punishment the crimes carry or conviction carries, ... would have serious doubts or would reflect on it more seriously than what they do now. Theoretically, are supposed to be kept in the dark so they'll be fair and impartial. Of course if you're very clever defense lawyer usually you can get that in. You take the snitch and go to the black board and put on how much time he was originally looking at and most jurors can figure out that's how much time your client is looking at. You know, if they're asleep, most of the time they don't, but ... I don't know how you could run a criminal justice system without the use of informants, but at the same time, it allows itself for such abuse. I seriously doubt that any of them tell the truth when they testify. Doesn't matter what the witness says, what the snitch says. If I offered a witness a hundred dollar bill to come down and say it my way, I'd go to prison for that. But yet the government can give them something far more precious than money. It's like chemotherapy, you know, you have to have it some times, but nobody likes it. You don't have to have it to the extent that is used today. I think that there should be more regulations of how you're going to use them and under what circumstances you can use them. I don't think that you should be allowed to try a dry conspiracy. If you don't catch nobody with no drugs, then, you know, no harm, no foul. It lends itself to a perversion of the system when people can take the stand and lie with impunity, because the government never indicts anybody.