Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Truth About My Life: Two Perspectives

I considered for a long time how much to share on this blog about the details of my case. Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I decided to post the most "intimate" documents filed by both sides with the court: the sentencing memoranda.

Now, before you get your hopes up for some thrills and spills, I must warn you that these documents are not exactly titillating reading. Lawyers have that magic ability to make even the most exciting topic dry and boring. But if you take the time to read them, you will see why I hesitated. The memoranda discuss in great detail not only my wrongdoing but many aspects of my life - everything from my premature birth way back when to how I happen to be spending my time at the ripe old age of 43.

But my intent with this blog is to deter others and also to shed some light on the criminal justice system. I finally decided that without including these most important documents, I would never be providing the whole picture of how the system works.

So why are they so important? It's simple, really. These are the documents the judge uses to reach his decision. There are, of course, a few other filings, but for the most part this is it. By the time the judge gets to court on the day of sentencing he has most likely already made up his mind. Unfortunately, your impassioned pleas for leniency on the day of sentencing most likely fall on decided, if not deaf, ears.

The most interesting thing to me is that if you read both memoranda back to back, you couldn't be blamed for thinking that they describe two entirely different people. As I told the judge at sentencing, reading them gives me a distinct case of schizophrenia. The reason, of course, is that our adversarial system encourages divergence in the mistaken (to my mind) belief that the truth will emerge the harder you duke it out. The prosecutor's job is to make me look like the devil and my lawyer's job is to make me look like a saint. As you can no doubt guess, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who submitted letters of support to the court. As you can see from my memorandum, they played an important role. I have taken great care to redact all references to people other than myself. Just because I have decided to hang myself up for public inspection doesn't mean that everyone else must do the same. I have also, of course, removed the exhibits of the actual letters.

The first document below is the sentencing memorandum submitted by the prosecutor. Usually this is submitted at the same time as the defendant's memo, but because someone (I won't name any names here) mixed up the deadline, we had the chance to respond in ours to the prosecutor's claims at the same time as we scrambled overnight to get the thing done.

The second document, as I've already said, is my memo, prepared by me and my lawyer in close collaboration.  This was one instance where being a lawyer myself (and also knowing everything there is to know about my favorite topic - me) helped move things along.

The third document - and I understand it is pretty uncommon - is a rebuttal to our memo filed by the prosecutor. Apparently, he felt so moved by the truths in our memo that he felt obliged to respond. It was in this rebuttal that this little blog came to the attention of the judge. It was also this rebuttal that upset me more than anything else: the prosecutor, in effect, got the last word and was able to twist the facts to his liking until they were so distorted as to be unrecognizable.

Note that in many settlements there is also one other important document: the plea agreement. In my case there was none, with the result that it was almost as if a mini trial played itself out in the memoranda - without, of course, the burden of proof or a jury to weight the facts (and lies). 

Prosecutor's Sentencing Memorandum

Defendant's Sentencing Memorandum

Prosecutor's Rebuttal of Defendant's Sentencing Memorandum

No comments:

Post a Comment