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Interview with Clinton and Tyrone

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Clinton: It took a long time to get through the court process. I found it very important to have a private attorney who would watch out for my best interests. The public defenders want to become district attorneys one day, so they work with them instead of defending you.
Tyrone: What happened was it was a Friday night, I was out with my friends, were drinking and had marijuana. We were pulled over for no registration, and I didn't want to pull over. I was on immigration hold so I tried to run. They tried to taser me. The officer got me in the corner. I threw myself in the corner on the ground. He wanted me to put my face in the sewer water in the ground. I didn't put my face in it, I just gave up. He kicked me in my temple. I got up and I don't know what happened. I think he slipped and I started running and got tackled by another police officer. There were 4 officers and they were beating me with sticks. They took me to the hospital where they said I was fine. I got a bill from the hospital even though I didn't ask to go. My attorney told me they had a right to beat me because I was running.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Clinton: They came to my house and arrested me. I wasn't expecting them. It was calm when I was arrested.
Tyrone: See above.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Clinton: I went to court about ten different times on the case. I recommend getting your own attorney. The defendent needs to be prepared for an extensive and exhaustive court experience. It takes 6 months minimum to be processed through this system. I hired a private attorney and was given a court date. If you are involved in a property crime, you need to already have some restitution before sentencing. I was given a public defender on the first court date and he said I was going to state prison so I fired him on the spot. The Judges and all the attorneys all have very full calendars, so they are always changing when your hearing is. The court can also impose at will a court date for multiple victims. They are called restitution hearings and they are constant. They all ask you to waive your time and the process goes on and on and on. My private attorney called the shots more than a public defender would have.
Tyrone: When I went to court I was taken shackled on my ankles and my wrists. It depends if you are going to court in Fairfield... they put me in a cell for 1-2 hours and then an elevator up to another cell for 10 minutes. Then they called my name, they called an arraignment, and then I went back to the cell for an hour and then I was taken back to my cell. In the other court in Vallejo, they wake you up at 7 in the morning and keep you in a cell for awhile until they take you. Then they take you to the court and leave you there all day. They don't feed you if you miss dinner and I did that when I went to court.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Clinton: 487A Felony Penal Code, Grand theft, both charged and convicted
Tyrone: Original charges were felony evasion and willful disregard for people, possession with intent to sell and transportation of marijuana. I was convicted only of felony evasion.

Read about sentencing in the Solano County Jail

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