Day 37: Leonard Freed, Letter for the Rev’s Judge, and More Jail Terminology

by Brian A. Wilkins

1/22/09

This day corresponds with Wednesday, August 27, 2008.

Another day of consciousness in here, another day of empty existence. It was nice to see Leonard walk out of here to freedom a few minutes ago, but who knows what may happen to him now. He has no where to go/stay, no money, and I highly doubt we could fill out a job application by himself. They had to let him go by law, even though they unlawfully held him for an extra week. His parole, I think, is from his Texas prison time. He violated his parole because he didn’t call the parole officer one time because he had no phone and no money. Arizona law requires different states to extradite anyone who’s facing charges there within 30 days or Arizona is supposed to let them go free. I assume because Leonard’s “parole violation” was so petty that it would likely have cost the state of Texas way more to get him there than it was worth. 

The Rev has court next week and is hoping to get out of here, though I can’t see it happening. He’s facing armed robbery charges and the outlook is bleak for him, as far as getting a sentence or plea less than 5 years. He asked me to write a letter for him to his judge; I figured why not…I’ve already written about 4 such letters for other people. But in order to make the letter effective, I had to hear his entire story uncut; not the version you tell your attorneys. The Rev, again like most other guys in here, had a severe meth problem, which is what landed him in this place. He has now been in this jail for like 6 months and says it did him a world of good…as he was able to get himself off meth and cocaine, since he could no longer take them in jail. The fact his daughter was just born this week too could also be considered a mitigating circumstance. I must say, the letter turned out really well. If nothing else, it may at least move the judge to subtract a year and a few months from what he/she had in mind as far as a sentence. 

Of course as he was telling me his story, I  had to stop him a few times so he could explain to me some of the slang and some of the jail terms I’d yet to hear to this point. I always figured theft charges were theft charges; but there is also something called “theft of means.” I could be completely wrong, but I think that means stealing a conveyance of some sort, especially cars. I guess it is a much more serious crime than simply theft. This other guy who stopped in his cell said he got “page two’d” with a theft of means charge. I didn’t know whether I was more lost at the sound of the foreign term, or when this guy, who Rodney and I called “the monkey” because he was ugly as hell and, yes, looked like a monkey, tried to explain it. Apparently in Maricopa County, you can be arrested for something, go all the way through trial, be exonerated, but on your way out the door of the jail, you can get a “page 2” charge. Like if charges are dismissed with prejudice against you in some old, previous case, they can bring it back up if they really want to fuck you. The Monkey thought he was in there on simple possession of marijuana charges, but was now facing old assault and distribution charges that were previously dismissed with prejudice. I already knew about “Rule 11” because of Walter, but apparently a lot of guys in here fall under that category; not very bright. 

Here I am, trying to help other people get out of here and I can’t even get myself out. I really wish people would quit asking me to fill out their tank orders, write letters to judges, to their girlfriends, read the letter their mom just sent to them, etc. But hell, nobody in here seems to know how to read or write. My good conscience, what’s left of it, won’t allow me to just ignore people who seriously cannot help themselves. I guess it makes me feel kind of normal. Rodney keeps saying I get a lot of respect in here, but I’m not really sure what that’s worth; if anything. Talk about irony if the Rev gets out of here next week, based on the letter I wrote his judge. If that happens, I’m immediately doing a face-first off the top-tier!

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