Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Unfair sign now

To: All Who Believe in Fair Justice

It is unfair for states to have preset Mandatory Minimum Sentences.

The justice system has once again let a young boy go to a Maximum Security Prison for 20 years because of an unfair law that doesn't allow the Judge to decide on a sentence that fits the crime and person. And they have violated his rights in the process.

Let me take a minute to tell you about Jeffrey. Jeffrey is my nephew. He is the 4th oldest of 6 children and has a young son who has only ever seen his Dad in prison. Jeffrey had to drop out of school in 8th grade in order to go to work and help provide for his mother and siblings. He never got into trouble at school and his teachers had nothing but good things to say about him. The only thing on Jeffrey's record was a seat belt ticket he got right after he started driving. Jeffrey always held at least one or more jobs and made sure that his brothers and sisters had not only food, but gifts on holidays.

Jeffrey is now spending 20 years in prison. His crime, a momentary lapse in judgment due to fear that his siblings would go without food and gifts on Christmas and then being forced to commit a crime after he had tried to back out of it.

On Christmas Eve 2001 Jeffery's Mother told him that his estranged step-father had informed her at the last minute that he did not actually have the gifts that he had promised the younger children that Santa would bring them. That also meant no Christmas Dinner. Jeffrey's Mother suffers from Heart problems as well as emotional problems, caused by her first husband. She panicked and told Jeffrey she didn't know what they would due and that she needed him to go out and figure something out.

Jeffrey called his best friend and they went for drive to think things over. After hours of no luck they went to the house of a guy that Jeffrey's friend and brothers knew. They set there and drank with this guy and his girlfriend for a while. At a point in the evening this guy, Gene, told them that he knew where they could break onto a house and get a lot of money. The old guy who lived there had won 2 million dollars in the lottery. He played on Jeffrey's emotions that without money the kids would have no Christmas. Inebriated and desperate, Jeffrey reluctantly agreed.

On the way to the house he told Gene that they had changed there minds and realized they couldn't do anything like that. Gene then showed them his gun and said that no one was backing out and to remember that he knew where there families lived. Jeffrey went into the house but stayed in the living room until Gene called him into the bedroom. When he went in he seen that Gene had stabbed a man multiple times. At that point he ran outside and vomited. Gene then had them stay in the house looking around and eventually leave and steal the vehicles. After leaving he told them that if they even thought about telling anyone he would kill their families.

All this is documented in the official Discovery Pack. All three boys, Jeffrey and two others that had stayed in the car, gave a similar statement at different times. All mentioned Gene threatening them with the gun when they wanted to leave and then afterwards about telling anyone. They also, when asked if Jeffrey had a knife, said that he put it in the glove compartment before getting out of the car.

Jeffrey, afraid of Gene, ran. He gave himself up in New Mexico. Where, at age 17, he was considered a minor. We know this because while he was there they called his older sister saying that Jeffrey had a sinus headache and they needed permission to give him cold medication.

That same night, Missouri detectives showed up in New Mexico to question him. In their report they even state that due to medication they had trouble waking him up and he seemed groggy when questioned. Yet, they were allowed to question him anyways. His confession was neither recorded and video taped. I myself have read it multiple times and have had friends in law school read it. There are strange gaps of time and when they ask the important questions its reads like they ask one damning question, have to get his attention and then he answers a different question. Or they accuse him of something and he denies it over and over and then he gives an answer that sounds like he is agreeing something else. Like someone copy and pasted answers where they wanted them. And since there is conveniently no recordings, there is no other proof.

Believe it or not, this was just the beginning. Our first attorney never went to see Jeffrey and did not fight to have the testimony in New Mexico dropped. They had no physical evidence, no DNA. The second attorney set there on the first meeting with Jeffrey's Mother and myself and told us He knew Jeffrey was guilty and the best he could do for us was try not to get him life. Needless to say we got rid of him quickly. The third one was told that Jeffrey could not fully understand the legal issues and we did not want a guilty plea. Right before sentencing he made sure we could not see Jeffrey and told him that if he didn't plead Guilty he could get longer and would only be making his family suffer. None of these so called attorneys brought up that Gene had threatened the boys into going or that Jeffrey was drugged and a minor during questioning.

The Judge himself stopped court preceding and tried to explain things to Jeffrey and even said that he regretted having to give the Mandatory Sentence.

Further research into the Discovery Pack and Police Reports have shown that Gene, and the victims wife and nephew, had been planning this for at least a couple years. Gene just knew not to look for money in her room. The victims walker and shotgun were missing on this one night only. In his first two statements Gene said Jeffrey was innocent, but they let him change his mind a third time and thats what the went with. I don't think its a coincident that Gene didn't get the Death Penalty.

The victims daughter worked with my Mother and Sister. When she found out she told them she believed that Jeffrey was innocent and that her step-mother had finally killed her Dad. But no one is interested in looking into it and since they convinced Jeffrey to plead guilty, we can't find an attorney to take the case.

Jeffrey's son, Brandon, was born not long after he went to jail. He will be 20 when his dad gets out.

We need help getting his case looked at again. His rights were violated and he was punished for a crime someone else committed. Please help us get enough signatures so that the Missouri courts will have no choice but to notice that we matter.

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