Sunday, July 1, 2007

Suit Up

This was sent to Aunt Babz via email...

Hi. My name is Abduel "Duel" for short. Here's my story. During the year of 11/2002 I was hired at Carson Pirie Scott (Shipping/Loading Dock Dept.) through a friend of mine who was working there already as security. Turns out months later he and other associates were stealing watches. Now initially my first thought was to talk to him and tell him what he was doing was stupid and to stop. Before that even happened he ended up going on vacation a day or two later. Well during his vacation I was back and forth talking to him about it and also talking to some co-workers to get them to stop. Long story short they must have all gotten together some how to get me out the store, maybe scared that I knew too much and would rat them out. So the following day leaving from work (closing), one of the security guards (friend of my friend) stop me to check my bag as usual. Then he asked if I could empty all my pockets (which was strange because he never asked anyone that before) and what you know, a freaking watch is in my jacket pocket. I thought he did it as a joke so I started laughing (note that this whole time my friend was acting weird). He grabbed my arm and forced me to the floor while calling back up. Before the police got involved I explained to security manager who knew I was a nice guy what had happened and he assured me if I knew anything about what was going on to tell him. He explained that they have been watching everyone who was involve and knew I had nothing to do with it. He told me to sit tight and he was on his way there to the store. Well he never made it there and soon after the police arrived I tried explain but wasn't getting anywhere with them. They arrested me and I sat in jail for about three weeks awaiting my court date. During my hearing the public defender (I couldn't afford a real lawyer) told me that since the watch was about $300 that the charge would be a felony rather than a misdemeanor. He also explained that if I pled guilty I would receive two years probation versus if I pled not guilty and try to fight the case and lost that I would definitely receive three months in jail. I was so terrified to go back to jail for something I didn't do that I ended up taking the probation. My question is what can I do about my "criminal" background and how do I go about doing it. I've been out of work for sometime now and my background is the reason why. If you could help at all please let me know.
Your friend, Abduel

Dear Abduel,

Good grief do I feel for you. Been there, done that. It's appalling how things go, the twists and turns of a less than, Justice system.

What I have found is that the Public Defenders just want to get the case over. They are over taxed and quite often, under paid. They want to move on to the next case, as quickly as possible, often times, mishandling their current client. It's a damn shame but I've seen it and experienced it with my own two eyes and my very own life.

What to do?

My only suggestion, at this moment, is to type up your story. Explain things, as clearly as you are able, with names and any documentation, you might have. Times and dates are a must. You tell the whole story and then, send it to every attorney in your town. You ask them, if they can possibly help you, *Pro bono. See, I am not a Legal know it all and am not much good in that department. I do happen to think you may have a hard time, once you've already pled to the charge and accepted Probation. You may ask the Governor for a commutation/pardon but that too may only be for large scale cases and I think some time must elapse, so that your record speaks of your good behavior and citizenry.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets Oiled First

The other thing you can do and I encourage this, is to write your story. Work hard on the presentation of it and documentation, just as I mentioned before. You then submit it to, "
Carson Pirie Scott." You state in the letter that you are requesting that they do an internal investigation, concerning this matter. You explain the difficulty you've had, in obtaining and retaining a job because of this. It is now on your record, not to mention the fact that your life has been disrupted by having to do and report to Probation. Your good name has been tarnished and you will not tolerate it.

Carson Pirie Scott is a reputable name. If they had people, under investigation, prior to your arrest, you point this out. You tell them, you want them to investigate this and vindicate your name. You explain why you took a plea, to keep from being incarcerated, any longer. I know this much, anybody that's not been used to jail and it's whole scenario, would be completely traumatized by it. You tell them that you were, traumatized by this. Explain the cause and effect of why you took the plea. Then, you drop the bomb;

You tell them, if they will not police their own Company on this matter, you will go public with your allegations.

You then, if necessary, take out an ad in the newspaper, explaining the whole affair. Or you contact a reporter, submit the story to a reporter or whatever it takes, to have your story heard. If you can prove that the Security Manager, made that statement or you can contact him all the better. A lawyer will subpoena him and under oath, he will have to tell, what he said, concerning his investigations and the fact that he already knew you'd had nothing to do with it.

You were pretty much railroaded, if all you say is true. I happen to believe you and feel you should not just take this sitting down. You must call their bluff. If you can not find an attorney to handle this matter, I suggest that you write the letter with a plan of action, outlined. You give the Company, the opportunity to right this wrong. A judge can overturn this, if he has evidence, I believe. But you may have to do the leg work, on this yourself.

I do not believe that Carson Pirie Scott would want this handled publicly. By allowing them the opportunity to investigate this first, they may very well be able to help you but you make them aware, if they just sweep it under the carpet, you will not allow it and will make as much noise as possible.

Suit Up

"Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord." Remember these words. If you are a believer, repeat them over and over. They mean two things; God does not like ugly and will handle the matter. There will be retribution, if you fervently pray for it. They also mean, that you must not have an overtone of vengeance on your mind. You must stand-up for your self and simply look for vindication and your record to be wiped clean. If you have this ideology in your mind, surely God will honor it. This is pretty big, you will need His help. But all things are possible and what was done to you is wrong. Live and learn, use this knowledge, as it has happened for a reason. Now, what was the reason, is the first order of questioning and secondly, will you lay down and let it happen? Or will you suit up, for battle and make things happen? I'm betting on you and believe that all things can and will happen, for you, if you want it badly enough. I believe in you.

American Bar Association;
Pro Bono & Public Service
State by State Listing

Pro bono publico (often shortened to pro bono) is a phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the public good". The term is sometimes used to describe professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. It is common in the legal profession and is increasingly seen in marketing, technology and strategy consulting firms. Unlike traditional volunteerism, pro bono service leverages the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

In the legal profession, pro bono counsel may assist an individual or group on a legal case, in filing government applications or petitions or on appeal. If the case is won, occasionally the judge may determine that the loser should compensate the pro bono counsel.

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