Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Clever Judge

Today was the day.  The sentence came down for my sister.

'Wooden Judge Gavel' by Kittisak, found at

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


  1. Well, you have the right of it. This is out of your hands. You can't exchange your life for hers. And she will choose what she will choose. After she chooses she will then have to abide by her choice. It is very difficult wanting someone to do what is best for them, but having zero control over whether or not they do it. In this case, it is worse when that person is known for making terrible choices for themselves. Keep telling yourself that these are her LIFE LESSONS and she is on her own curriculum. You can't rush it, slow it, or help it along.

  2. You have a strong attitude, even though your heart is probably crying. It's totally up to you sister from this point.
    Good luck to her and good strength to you both.

  3. I like your attitude. I know how hard it must be for you, being torn between feelings of guilt and feelings of anger and resentment and disappointment. Whatever your sister decides to do is not your problem. I know it sounds harsh, but it's the truth. You can't control what she does or how she reacts. It's on her. You just take care of you.

  4. I was wrong. I was certain she would take the plea. To risk 5 years only demonstrated her denial of any wrongdoing, which is what you said initially. This will not be easy. These options are very common today, but the number of defendants who make the right choice is not overwhelming. I can only echo Robin. I also agree with Manzie and Yvonne - You have the right attitude. Keep it!


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