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Extreme Unfair Sentence & Lost Appeals Criminal Trials, Hearings

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by lynn3048, May 14, 2008.

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  1. lynn3048

    lynn3048 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hi,

    I would like to start by giving a brief history of what has gone on to date. It has been going on for almost 3 and 1/2 years. In December 2005, my mother drove 4 hours and set someone's house on fire with gasoline. The lady whose house it was, was someone my mother's on again off again boyfriend at the time was seeing. The lady inside woke up and realized what was going on. The lady got out of the house and, was not killed or injured. My mother left the scene was pulled over and arrested.

    My mother is 60 years old. She has never been in trouble before, she has no criminal record at all. She never abused drugs or alcohol. She has always been a productive member of society. She was a single mother to two daughters. She earned a college degree in her forties. She had a good job. My mother fell on some very hard time over several years a lot of bad things happened to her all at once. She needed help. She was severely depressed and maybe something else I don't know. I am very close to my mom and tried to get her help, many times, but she refused. She thought she had it under control. Her place of employment also noticed something was wrong and referred her to get help. I think she had some sort of break down or that she snapped and that’s what caused her to set fire to the house, I really don’t know its just not her way so to speak. Not to be rude but especially over a man. The normal mom would of let go a long time before this and moved on. I am not saying what she did was ok and I am not making excuses. It is so wrong. There is just such a large background to this case, its not cut and dry the way they make it seem. I feel its important due to the circumstances of her harsh sentence. There was also always constant media coverage about the case. The media twisted everything around, against my mom and made it all so much worse.

    This case has occurred out of Hamilton County in Cincinnati, Ohio. My mother was charged with 2 counts of arson and 2 counts of attempt. murder in December 2005. She plea bargained to 1 count of each the other 2 would be dropped. Part of the plea bargain was also 10 years in jail. To everyone's shock, including her lawyer in December 2006 she was sentenced to a total of 17 years by the judge for the 2 counts. She used a public defender. The judge explained that my mother showed she had not moved on and there for was getting 17 years. The lawyers told me my mother also got the judge very angry by her actions in court that day. It seemed the judge ignored all the wonderful letters people sent in on behalf of my mom, trying to show how normal she was before this and how shocked everyone was that my mom could of done this. This was not like my mom at all. We all tried to explain how she was having trouble recently, how bad things had been for years, the build up, but certainly not trying to justify what she did.

    She used a public defender again in mid 2007 for an appeal. Her appeal was denied in December 2007. Her appeal was based on the fact that she had some sort of break down in court and her actions that day should of showed the judge that she was not in her right mind. (she had spent time at a behavioral facility after she was arrested) The judge should of stopped the hearings. In my mothers defense she was moved from the behavioral place back to the county jail a few weeks before her sentence date. She reacted poorly to this and was put under suicide watch at the county jail, and kept there until her court date to be sentenced. While under suicide watch they altered her medicine she had been on. The behavioral place had her on set medicine that was helping my mom greatly. My mother was doing great at the behavioral place and was ready to deal with everything. Then they moved her and she panicked I guess. At the county jail they gave her medicine to keep her calm and help her sleep all the time.(we are currently getting those records from the jail) On the day of her court hearing to be sentenced she was not cleared by a doctor after being under suicide watch for so long. She was not in the right frame of mind that day, I just know it. Maybe the drugs were still in her system. I talked to and visited my mom all the time since all this has started. She was not herself that day in court, she wasn’t even the lady I talked to a few weeks prior something was going on with her. When I talked to her before and after her sentence hearing while at the justice center she was different hard to understand. She wasn’t allowed to buy soap or paper, nothing. She had money in an account. The changes occurred after being placed under suicide watch. She came into court looking unclean, hair and teeth not brushed and just a glaze over her face. Everything she said that day was off the wall, not normal. I was shocked at her appearance and behavior. I wanted to stand up and scream to stop, but I knew that's unacceptable behavior in a court room. Before being put under suicide watch at the county jail, she was well prepared for her day in court we talked a lot about it. She had a lot to say, they were helping her at the behavioral place. That's not at all the way she wanted it to go.

    My mom is currently serving 17 years. The Ohio Supreme Court denied her request to be heard also. Her lawyers have said there’s nothing else they can do. Anything else is a long shot. My mom has no money nor do I to hire help. We don’t even know who to go to for help! We are both so desperate. She feels she was sentenced to life in prison. I feel the same. 17 years she's 60, she didn’t kill anyone no one was hurt. I know what she did was horrible, so wrong, but 17 years! She is around hundreds of women who have criminal records, troubled pasts, been in jail before and they killed someone and are only serving a fraction of the time my mom is. That is very hard for her to understand and accept. Everyday I read about crimes so worse then this: rape , murder, drugs, and most of the sentences are again a fraction of hers. I really don't understand myself. We feel we are being treated unfairly somehow, and that her day in court was not fair due to the drug/medicine issues. Were being told nothing can be done. All that could was. Please I'm looking for any ideas & advice. I am at a loss at having a hard time accepting this out come. I don’t think my mom can live out her sentence, she will die in jail. Especially since she’s not getting the proper mental help she needs. She really can be made better and is a good person her past shows this. Were losing hope. She was normal, fell on hard times, made a huge awful mistake and is paying for it with the rest of her life. Thank you so much for your time sorry its long, there is just so much that has happened-hard summarize.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2008
  2. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

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    She was normal, fell on hard times, made a huge awful mistake and is paying for it with the rest of her life.

    Nope.

    She didn't make a mistake. Here's what she did:


    Sounds pretty cold-blooded to me.
     
  3. Duranie

    Duranie Moderator

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    The fact that your mother did not kill anyone or hurt anyone is a moot point. She committed a serious crime and COULD have easily killed someone. I have fallen on hard times too but never burned someone's house down with someone in it. That is attempted murder.

    You will not get very far posting on a message board. Unless you can find an attorney to help you you might be out of luck. When is your mom eligible for parole? With good behavior it is unlikely she will serve the whole 17 years.

    I do feel for you, my mom is also 60 years old and imagining her in prison for 17 years is unfathomable. I do agree that 17 years does seem a bit excessive and all you can do is keep calling around for attorneys that might take the case pro-bono.
     

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