|'Wooden Judge Gavel' by Kittisak, found at freedigitalphotos.net|
You may recall that she was originally offered a plea deal of 3 years (-with only 1 of those years being hard time). Of course that would have entailed an admission of guilt. So yeah, let's just say it wasn't happening...
Today she received a sentence of 5 years hard time- no possibility of early release and time must run consecutive to any other sentence she receives from other counties where she will also be tried for her crimes.
While this may sound harsh, it is actually well within the realm of what was to be expected and not overly unfair in any way.
The judge then added on an interesting twist.
He allowed for the first 18 months of the sentence to be converted into an in-house drug rehabilitation with daily sobriety checks and then offered that if my sister could get and stay clean for this 18 month period, then the rest of the sentence would be suspended and served as probation.
However, if she tests positive for any drug substance during this time, then her hard time starts from that date- even if she is caught with drugs in her system on the last day of this 18 month period.
The judge explained to her that there is now no in between. She is to get and remain sober and commit no more crimes against society or she is to be in prison. No exceptions. He also explained to her that he would not be offering any perimeters for the other 2 counties to follow. If they did not offer her anything other than hard time, then so be it. If she chooses not to take plea deals in those cases she may not be so fortunate as to find herself with any second chances, of this kind or any other.
I must say that I am personally amazed that the judge offered her any way out of this at all. And while I am grateful that there is some hope that she may take this opportunity and use it for what it is, I will not be holding my breath waiting for my sister to get her act together.
I am going to take this time to get even stronger. I need to keep my head about me, no matter what my sister chooses for her life. No amount of suffering or cajoling is going to change her. She is going to do what she chooses to do. And my life cannot be exchanged for hers. Me being stressed out or sad will never make her life anything other than what she chooses it to be, no matter what.
|Peaceful Journey by Federico Stevanin, found at freedigitalphotos.net|