A View From The Inside

This is a submission from a federal prisoner who does not have access to email, but corrlinks:               “We had always suspected as time moves on and people become more tuned in to events and issues, that people would naturally become more aware, conscious as to how best to resolve issues that crop up in life. One of the big issues I found in most penal colonies throughout the United States is the dumb-down syndrome that affects people that become imprisoned. Looking at the cause of this issue, we take note that upon your arrest, court proceedings, sentencing, and incarceration, prisoners become systematically dumbed-down. This affliction is pervasive throughout the prison system and the effects have been devastating. The title of this article is therefore;                                                                                                           TROLLING FOR DOLLARS                                                                  In the wake of Johnson V. United States (2015), a case that addressed the Armed Career Criminal Act or ACCA. As most conscious observers now understand, Johnson provided relief for defendants who were subject to enhanced sentencing under this statutory provision. [see Title 18 U.S.C. $ 924(e)(2)(B)(ii) which defines violent felony for enhancement purposes] Prosecutors in federal court have been having a field day sentencing people under this provision. As most students of the law now understand, the Supreme Court used Johnson to invalidate this provision because of its vagueness. As a result many defendants previously sentenced using this statutory provision found relief. I am sure that Reform Crime Sentencing (RCSNOW.ORG) joins me in applauding the court for finally eliminating this unconstitutional provision which was repugnant and oppressive to humankind.                Despite the relief, legal trollers have been using the Johnson decision to troll for dollars within the confines of federal and state prisons. If you understand Johnson, its implications and reach, be mindful that constraints are in place as to how far Johnson will extend. Beckles V. United States (2017) showed this predictable limiting. For those who understood United States V. Booker (2005), the court sliced and diced the decision so as not to produce a windfall for defendants. Johnson is being affected the same way as Beckles shows. If the statute is eliminatrd, then it’s a guideline issue and since guidelines are not mandatory Johnson will not affect the guideline provisions even though they may have identical language. While trying not to rain on the parade, ensure that the trollers don’t take advantage of the legally challenged by contending that Johnson applies to all those guidelines as well as the statutory provisions. It does not.                                                                                              The criminal justice system is historically not in the business of justice, equality, nor fairness. It would not survive if it was. Please understand that prisoners and their families are usually not extravagantly bankrolled and that these trollers are scraping the bottom of the barrel to make a buck, feeding off the factors of hope and ignorance of the law. Therefore, please wait before filing a motion for relief unless you are sure you have the perfect case and position to test the court in your district and appellate circuit with a Johnson challenge. While waiting for events in the law to unfold, continue to be vigilant and continue to have all of your contacts lobby Congress to propose and pass laws to reduce prison populations.

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