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Interview with Pat and Sam

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Pat: I spent over a year my first time there my fighting a case that included a co-defendant which was my downfall in the end. During that time, the prosecutor called immigration on me in order to force to me take a deal. I had very good lawyers and eventually got probation for 5 years. In the end, if i could go back, i would have just accepted prison time then and got it over with rather than go through the gauntlet i did eventually.
Sam: I spent my pre-sentencing time while remaining within the county jail in Middlesex County. The waits were always long to see my public defender, and the trips were court were long and drawn out, usually for no reason as I sometimes wasn't even seen. Everything takes time as there are so many people to process and so much paperwork to go through. It often takes months just to come to some sort of deal, even if one is pleading guilty.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Pat: No i was arrested while out and questioned at a local precinct before being taken to County Jail for holding with a bond of $250,000. Me and an associate were in a complex and he was doing what he does to get money while i waited. eventually cops came through and he ran while i talked my way out of it. they put me in a cab to leave and i was on my way when he called me begging me to swing around and pick him up so he wouldnt be picked up on his warrant. I tried to save the day and instead got caught up and he proceeded to implicate me in all his crimes to alleviate his load.
Sam: I was out at the mall when I received a call from a friend I was living with at the time that the police had come by the house asking about me. This was followed by a few other calls as the police stopped by other addresses they knew to be associated with me. Eventually, I made my way back home and contacted the police to let them know where I was. After coming to get me, they asked several questions along the way, then served me my charges upon getting me back to the police station. After further questioning, I was taken to the county jail.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Pat: Court was always interesting because there was so much going on at once and it all seemed very theatric. The assembly line process mixed in with the fact that you get to hear what others are accused of and their past, its very voyeuristic. They keep you in shackles as if you're hannibal lectar whether you're there for murder or a gram of pot. A keen observer can watch the collusion between the prosecutor, appointed public defenders and the Judge to churn out convictions.
Sam: There was not many people in the courtroom, but enough to make one uncomfortable, and you're more or less on display, like a show. It's hard to process everything and keep up with all of the legal jargon unless you're familiar with it. The judge, prosecutor, and lawyer flash through everything so fast that if you're unfamiliar with it, it'll speed by in a blur and the next thing you know your life has just changed by a few words exchanged in front of you. The lawyer attempts to hash over things that have usually been already established before you ever set foot into the courtroom, so it's all really a formality. You're swept in, people speak around you, then you're swept out. If your family or friends are present, then you'll see them for a glimpse and feel their gaze behind you as you have to face the judge. And then it's over.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Pat: Originally i was charged with about 15 counts of thefts and burglaries as well as conspiracy. I took probation in exchange for 4 counts of theft/burglary and a conspiracy charge.
Sam: Original: Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a weapon Convicted of: Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault

Read about sentencing in the Middlesex County Jail

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