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Sun Jan 10, 2016, 03:31 AM

An email I received, filled with good news.

An email I received, filled with good news.
By xxdr zombiexx
Saturday Jan 09, 2016 9:25 AM EST



It’s basically a small story, I guess, but it gets the day off with good news, for a change.

Back in 2006 or so — I cannot remember — I got an email from a lady who was very concerned about a young man she knew. He was described as severely depressed, possibly suicidal, in and out of the hospital. Young, depressed and had gotten busted for pot possession and was not thinking clearly nor in his best interested. She was very concerned.

I have searched for the original emails — I wouldn’t have deleted them, but can’t seem to find them now. I had written up a rather detailed set of “do this and this will happen” scenarios. And I never heard anything else. No big deal: I did what I knew to help and that is that.

Yesterday on disqus a person asked me if I was the “doc zombie from smirkingchim.com’ and I am.

I got the following email, edited to preserve the anonymity of the sender and the subject.

Back in the early 2000s I asked you for some advice to help a friend (a former student of mine) who had just been arrested for the second time for pot possession in Kansas. He had just a couple of weeks left to go on his diversion from the first arrest when he was arrested again. back then he suffered from severe chronic (sometimes suicidal) depression (a major reason why he used pot and couldn't stop using it even long enough to finish that diversion).

He felt so hopeless after being re-arrested that he wasn't even going to get a lawyer or try to get the charges lowered. His parents could afford the lawyer and were willing to help, but he was not even willing to try, nor would he listen to my advice about the matter.

I wrote to you, since you were obviously knowledgeable about marijuana laws and penalties. You might have recognized my name (xxxxxxxx) from posts on smirkingchimp.com discussion threads, but we had not directly interacted and you did not know me at all. Nevertheless, you took the time to offer advice for my friend and to write out detailed explanations of what the different outcomes would be if he had a good lawyer trying to plead down the charges vs. just accepting the second arrest felony conviction and prison time.

For some reason, perhaps because of your obvious expertise in the field, my friend accepted your advice even though he wouldn't listen to me or to his parents. He got a good lawyer and his charges were dropped to a two-misdemeanor conviction.

Thanks to you, he is now, at age 39, a successful lawyer with a very well-regarded firm, as well as a family man with a [young] son and a [new] daughter.

He graduated [near the top] in his law school class, and after submitting character references and proving that he had kept a clean record since his second arrest, he was allowed to take the M — — — bar exam--on which he scored in the top 5%. He had to jump through more hoops for Kansas, including getting his record expunged, before he was allowed to take the K----- bar exam, but he finally did so, and is now licensed to practice in both K and M .

If you had not taken the time to offer such detailed advice, I think he would have spent years in prison--and of course he never would have gone to law school. In fact, I suspect that he would have ended up committing suicide. Like many young people, my friend was able to "outgrow" the worst of his depression by the time he was in his early thirties.

Many depressed young people don't let themselves live long enough to get past the worst effects of their depressive tendencies. Without your help, I think my dear friend would have been one of this unfortunate cases if he had been convicted of a felony, sent to prison, and then trapped in the unforgiving circumstances that our (in)justice system traps ex-felons in, even when their only "crime" is making use of a mild, rather harmless intoxicant.

I don't believe I ever wrote to let you know how his case turned out or to thank you for your help, but that is why I am writing to you now. Thanks.


I am, of course, thrilled to hear this. It could have been a total and needless disaster had he just plead guilty to “get it over with”.

Do try to help others when you can: it’s a really good feeling.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/1/9/1467743/-An-email-I-got-filled-with-good-news

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Reply An email I received, filled with good news. (Original post)
FourScore Jan 2016 OP
Tobin S. Jan 2016 #1
silvershadow Jan 2016 #2
mnhtnbb Jan 2016 #3

Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 06:13 AM

1. K&R

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 06:13 AM

2. For those who may need or benefit:

 

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Sun Jan 10, 2016, 06:32 AM

3. What we do does make a difference.

How nice to hear the results of the time you took to carefully lay out the options and consequences of having a good attorney.
It turned out to be a big deal after all.

Sometimes only a few minutes of our time can change the life of someone else.



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