IF A NATIONS VALUES AND IDENTITY WERE JUDGED BY ITS JUSTICE SYSTEM
WHAT WOULD OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM SAY ABOUT US AS A NATION ?
UPDATE: On December 19, 2015 President Obama granted clemency to Sharanda Jones. http://iamsharandajones.org/
Name: Sharanda Jones, Federal Inmate #33177-077
Time Served: 13 years and 7 months
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine)
Sentence: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE.
Release Date: None
Prior Convictions: None
Prior Arrests: None
Family: 22-year old daughter named Clenesha Garland SENTENCE: LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE. YEARS INCARCERATED:
Sharanda Jones grew up in poverty in the small rural town of Terrell, Texas. Her mother was paraplegic as the result of a horrific car accident that occurred when Sharanda was only 3 years old. Due to her mother's severe health condition, Sharanda was forced at a young age to take on a motherly role to help take care of her younger siblings. Life was very difficult financially. In an attempt to overcome the hardships that accompany poverty, Sharanda made a wrong choice and began dealing drugs out of desperation to be able to sufficiently support herself and her family.
In June of 1999, Sharanda, along with two other individuals, were charged in a 7-count superseding indictment. The 7-count superseding indictment charged Sharanda with 1 count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine) and 6 counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack cocaine) and aiding and abetting. In August of 1999, Sharanda was found guilty by a jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas of only the conspiracy count and acquitted of all of the remaining 6 counts.
During trial, no producible amount of drugs was presented against Sharanda. There was no evidence of any controlled buys of drugs from Sharanda. No photographs of Sharanda. No drugs found to be in Sharanda's possession. Sharanda was convicted based primarily on co-conspirator testimony. A majority of the testimony came from two individuals, who were both arrested on drug charges and pled guilty over 1-year prior to Sharanda's initial indictment. These two individuals agreed to become confidential informants for the government in exchange for lessor sentences. After their testimony against Sharanda, these two individuals were sentenced to only 7-8 years in prison. Additionally, another co-conspirator testified against Sharanda alleging that he was her "supplier" and supplied her with drugs. This supplier's sentence was also reduced in exchange for his testimony against Sharanda and he was eventually sentenced to 19 years in prison.