Open Letter: Female Slave Labor- Wanted in Philadelphia!

Open Letter: Female Slave Labor- Wanted in Philadelphia!.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Open Letter: Female Slave Labor- Wanted in Philadelphia!

Open letter:

Dear Senator Blumenthal;

RE:

The Transfer of Inmate Stacey Petro, Reg # 17986-014,
Federal Institutional Correctional Facility- Camp
33 ½ Pembroke Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811

Senator Blumenthal, I am writing to you as I know that you were recently involved and supportive of blocking the transfer of inmates from Danbury Connecticut.

Mr. Marksee, Camp Administrator told my sibling, Ms. Petro, today that her very recent request to be transferred while she reattempts her appeal, (and to a similar camp located in Kentucky, in order for her to be closer to her two children who only just recently moved to Ohio with their father due to his employment) was denied so that she could fulfill the need for camp status inmates to work at a maximum security institution in Philadelphia. This smacks of slave labor, and right in the face of keeping families such as hers intact and healthy during an already highly traumatic situation. In her case, affecting her two young and school-aged children (ages 3 and 5) who will not be able to see her. This is a difference of what would have gone from a 60 minute drive in state, to a 3 ½ hour drive, and now to a forced 9 hour drive each way. She will now also be 4-5 hours away from in-state family, and without any personal support.

Additionally her initial judge, who served her an already excessive sentence, which she is attempting to appeal unsuccessfully, was gracious enough to recognize these important societal factors and granted her to attend the low security camp in Danbury. She should be afforded the samein her request for relocation. This is not 1930 and cheap labor is not a moral nor ethical reason to deny a request. Separation and isolation at an even more excessive level is also being conducted.

Ms. Petro has also brought to Camp administration’s attention many instances of unsafe situations and policies and practices which are not being enforced. She has also involved outside agencies where no internal response was received. We also question if her denial of transfer perhaps would have anything to do with whistleblower retaliation.

I am copying the Camp Warden and our State Congresswoman DeLauro also on this concern.

Sincerely,

Tamara Petro, M.P.H.
Sibling and Professional,
Activist for Equality

Posted in accountability, call to action, courts, disparities, human rights, incarceration, injustice, justice, legal, moms, prison reform, Slave labor, Uncategorized, women's rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Decides Who Goes to Prison?… A Follow up Commentary

nose judge

Since my appeal was just recently dismissed without even being heard, many people have shown concern over how this could even happen. I have been hearing such concern since my case began, and especially since my sentencing which was almost twice as high as a ring leader of the fraud scheme.

US District Judge Mark Bennett and Prof. Mark Osler wrote about how there has been a tragic transformation of criminal law. The driving factor of mandatory minimum sentences and harsh guideline sentences is how a prosecutor decides to prosecute a defendant. The title of their work is named “The wrong people decide who goes to prison”.  They urge reform to address the discretion that has been granted to prosecutors. (See this CNN Commentary below, which follows).

In my case, initially the prosecutors asserted a ridiculously long sentence that was enhanced by significant loss amounts that I allegedly caused large mortgage lenders for using their stated income loan products. Then, after I pled guilty with a promise of a hearing to determine a true loss amount, the prosecutors admit the loss amount overstates my role and the supported a lower sentence. Unfortunately Judge Alfred Covello abdicated his responsibility to sentence me fairly when he rubber stamped the prosecutors FIRST sentence recommendation even after the prosecutors noted at length why it was too high. Why were they allowed to even offer such a high plea to me when they didn’t for others more responsible for actual losses despite policy against it? Because they could.

The only way this system is going to be truly reformed for the good of all of society is if the process begins fairly if power is equalized.

Stacey Petro

Reg # 17986-014

FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION

ROUTE 37

DANBURY, CT 06811

United States of America

———

From: http://www.cnn.com 12/3/13

Opinion: Who decides who goes to prison? By Mark Bennett and Mark Osler

Editor’s Note: Mark W. Bennett is a U.S. District Court judge in the Northern District of Iowa. Mark Osler is a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and previously served as a federal prosecutor in Detroit. Bennett was the sentencing judge and Mark Osler the lead counsel for the defendant in the 2009 case of Spears v. United States, in which the Supreme Court supported Bennett’s reasoning in holding that sentencing judges could “categorically reject” harsh sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine.

(CNN) – Nearly 30 years ago, Congress embarked on a remarkable and ultimately tragic transformation of criminal law. Through the establishment of mandatory sentences and sentencing guidelines, discretion in sentencing was shifted from judges to prosecutors.

After the changes, prosecutors largely controlled sentencing because things like mandatory sentences and guideline ranges were determined by decisions they made.

This change ignored the fact that federal judges are chosen from the ranks of experienced members of the bar precisely because their long legal careers have shown the ability to exercise discretion.

It also ignored the contrasting truth that many federal prosecutors are young lawyers in their 20s and 30s who have little experience making decisions as weighty as determining who will be imprisoned and for how long.

The primary reason for the changes was well-intended, though: Members of Congress wanted more uniformity in sentencing. That is, they wanted a term of imprisonment to derive from the crime and the history of the criminal rather than the personality of the person wielding discretion.

After nearly 30 years, we know how Congress’ experiment turned out, and the results are not good. Federal judges have been relatively lenient on low-level drug offenders when they have the discretion to go that way. Turning discretion over to prosecutors via mandatory sentences and guidelines not only resulted in a remarkable surge in incarceration, it does not seem to solve the problem of disparities.

Let’s look at just one way that prosecutors exercise this discretion: the enhancement of narcotics sentences under 21 U.S.C. 851, or proceedings to establish prior convictions. These enhancements, at a minimum, double a drug defendant’s mandatory minimum sentence and may raise the maximum possible sentence. They are based on criminal history and can apply when a drug defendant has a prior qualifying drug conviction, no matter how old. They were enacted as part of the War on Drugs. They often make a huge difference in the sentence that results.

The 851 ruling applies, though, only if a prosecutor decides it should, and therein lies the rub. Federal judges are sometimes willing to vary from the drug sentencing guidelines because they are often too harsh, particularly for low-level drug offenders. Application of 851 enhancements by prosecutors robs judges of this discretion. Once the discretion shifted to prosecutors, the prison population skyrocketed.

And our analysis of the way these enhancements have been used reveals a deeply disturbing dirty little secret of federal sentencing: the stunningly arbitrary application of these enhancements by prosecutors within the Department of Justice.

The numbers tell the story. Our home states are fairly typical in their wild disparities: A federal defendant in Iowa is more than 1,056% likely to receive a 851 enhancement than one in Minnesota.

—-end—–

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Change of Opinion and a 74% bonus?!

Here is an interesting change of opinion! Victims in my particular legal case included Bank of America and Chase, who among others have been accused of fraud by the Department of Justice. Bank of America was found guilty by a jury, and Chase (as states in this letter by Elizabeth Warren below) settled out of court.

Yet why was my sentenced enhanced (made greater), with losses I supposedly caused them, i.e., those found guilty of the fraudulent programs and practices? If I were sentenced only on my ‘criminal behavior’ for wire fraud, my sentence range would have been 0-6 months. My sentencing guidelines were increased to account for the losses I allegedly caused these banks by submitting no income verification loans, which were inherently fraudulent. How am I in prison and they are not?

I hope Jaime Dimon enjoys his bonus with his family. I am in jail so he doesn’t have to be. That’s the beauty of having a scapegoat.

Letter from Elizabeth Warren:

Jamie Dimon got a raise

January 25, 2014 | By Elizabeth Warren    www.elizabethwarren.com

Hello everyone,

JPMorgan Chase recently reached yet another settlement with the U.S. government — a $13 billion deal with the Department of Justice for peddling deceptive mortgages.

The banking giant broke the law, recklessly gambled with our economy, and had to pay a record government settlement. Guess what happened next? You guessed right: JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon just got a 74% raise yesterday.

The New York Times speculates that Dimon got the raise because of his “active role” in negotiating government settlements last year. And as Dimon put it himself, it could have been a lot worse if JPMorgan had been forced to go all the way to a trial instead of just settling.

So here’s my question: If JPMorgan is so happy with their settlements that they are rewarding their CEO with a big raise, do you really think the federal bank regulators were tough enough?

There are a lot of steps we can take to push the regulators to do their jobs and hold financial institutions fully accountable when they break the law, and I think a good starting place would be by enacting the Truth in Settlements Act.

This is the bill I recently introduced with Senator Coburn that would require accessible, detailed disclosures about settlement agreements so the public can hold regulators accountable — no more hiding out behind closed doors and keeping the details secret.

Sign up now to show your support for the Truth in Settlements Act.

When I question federal regulators in Banking Committee hearings, they insist that they don’t need to take big banks to trial when they break the law.. They stand by their claim that settlement agreements are tough enough.

But if a settlement is so weak that Wall Street is celebrating with pay raises, it’s not a good deal for the American people.

This week Jamie Dimon admitted that the big banks don’t want to go to trial, so now there’s no doubt: If the regulators were willing to go all the way to a trial, even once in a while, they would have a lot more leverage in the settlement negotiations. And maybe they could get better deals on behalf of consumers and taxpayers.

This is simple: Bankers on Wall Street need to be held accountable when they break the law, and regulators in Washington need to be held accountable when they enforce the law.

So sign up now to show your support for the Truth in Settlements Act. It’s time for real transparency and accountability.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

—————-end of letter—————–

Stacey Petro
reg # 17986-014
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
ROUTE 37
DANBURY, CT 06811
United States of America

 

Posted in accountability, Bank industry, disparities, incarceration, injustice, justice, law, legal, mortgage industry\, prison reform, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Congratulations, Ladies! The Same Glass Ceiling in the Corporate World Exists for Us in Prison too!

Rich Moran opened his blog on http://www.pewresearch.com on August 5, 2013 by stating:

“Female white-collar crooks face the same glass ceiling as their law-abiding peers in the corporate world: They typically hold inferior positions to men in the criminal conspiracies in which they are engage, rarely lead a fraud ring and make significantly less money for their dirty deeds than their male accomplices.”

Why then are their sentences 3 times more harsh and excessive than similarly situated male offenders?

In a September 16, 2013 report prepared by CultureQuantiX concludes that “On average…Female sentences are three (3) times as long as Male sentences for Federal White Collar Crimes. In this report,  that can be viewed in its entirety by visiting  http://www.womenoverincarcerated.org,the sentences of 29 females convicted of white collar crimes who are currently incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp Danbury, CT were analyzed against 29 males convicted of similar federal white -collar crimes. In the introduction to the study, it is pointed out that despite the complexity of influencing elements in determining a sentence, “If one group tends to have a much higher deviation (directionally) from the initial range than the other, a bias clearly exists.” 300% greater sentences for women is unquestionably biased.

Again, the question becomes why are the sentences of women in the cases so much higher? Justin Peters offers an explanation in his “A Failure of Feminism: Women are Being Systematically excluded from White-Collar Crime”. He states “The separation between what is feminine and what is criminal is sharp, whereas the dividing lines between what is masculine and what is illegal is often thin. Although male sex role norms do not prescribe crime, risk-taking and defying social convention are qualities more admired in men than women. “While that can be a plausible explanation for the underlying bias in the criminal justice system against women that produces such disparate sentences as reflected in the CultureQuantiX study, what is the fix?

In a recent address before the American Bar Association, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the 20% disparity existent between drug sentences of Black and Latino males and similarly situated white male offenders “shameful”. What are policy makers saying about a 300% sentence disparity between males and similarly situated women in white collar sentencing? Shortly after its release the CultureQuantiX study and a bill proposing the reinstatement of Federal Parole (One Shot Bill) were forwarded to members of Congress, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as President Obama and the First Lady. The study as well as the One Shot Bill can both be viewed on www. womenoverincarcerated.org. Those adversely affected by those harsh sentences are eagerly awaiting not only their response, but their action.  The Fair Sentencing Act was passed to remedy the race disparity in drug cases. Similar legislation should be developed to offset the negative consequences of bad sentencing practice against women white-collar crime offenders. Until that happens, a larger fix for national disparities should be established immediately.

Reinstating Federal Parole would alleviate nationwide disparities for all federal inmates who have been sentenced after the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Federal Parole was eliminated when this Commission was created with the purpose of avoiding nationwide sentencing disparities. That move was a huge criminal justice policy failure leading to the explosion of the federal prison population. The number of female inmates alone increased 600% between 1980 and 2010!

While the need to decrease the population is evident, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is still continuing bad policy by removing the only minimum/low security female correctional facility in the Northeast. The newest female federal  prison built in Aliceville AL will only accommodate 300 more inmates. There are more compassionate, cost effective ways to handle overpopulation that would also be in line with the mission of the Department of Justice as well as support the current call for prison reform. In addition to reinstating Federal Parole, home confinement and halfway houses can be utilized for those first time, non-violent offenders who have low risk of recidivism. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder seems to agree stating:

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason…Widespread incarceration is both ineffective and unsustainable”

In alleviating the current federal population which is above 140% capacity, let’s start by reducing the harsh sentences of those who are unjustly serving disparate sentences. Fair and just treatment of women in the criminal justice system is urgently needed. Not only does disparate treatment of any group of people do a disservice to society at large, but unfairly sentencing women, more than half of whom are mothers, passes on huge negative consequences to the children. Those long term costs are in a currency that cannot be measured – the futures of those children.

These women, their families, and society at large needs your help to strive for true justice. Please:

1) View our mission at http://www.womenoverincarcerated.org and sign our petition to reinstate Federal Parole. Barring the President from granting blanket pardons to those women affected by sentencing disparity, there is no other road to relief for these women. We believe that reinstatement of parole would also represent the single biggest cost saving measure you could exact to reduce federal spending by simply targeting non-violent drug and white collar offenders.

2) Urge policy makers to convene a hearing or meeting with the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorneys in the Northeast who are primarily responsible for the decisions as to who to prosecute and what to seek for punishment for the overwhelming majority of women who made up the Danbury study. The prosecutors power is unfettered, and heretofore, unchecked. This initial step is where the disparity starts. In Sentencing Guidelines annual manual, policy statement urges the avoidance of unwarranted sentencing disparities even beginning with the plea bargain process. As the study shows this isn’t practiced. Only the prosecutors can explain how and why similarly situated male and female defendants, whether in the same case, same court, same jurisdiction or different jurisdictions, routinely have such drastically different asks and outcomes.

It is time to act on the bills that have sat stale in Congress and reform prison sentencing, including the reinstatement of federal parole.

Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated, and any resources you are able to provide would be welcomed.

Stacey Petro

Reg # 17986-014

Federal Prison Camp – Danbury

33 1/2 Pembroke Station

Danbury CT 06811

Please also visit: http://www.womenoverincarcerated.org

Posted in accountability, call to action, courts, disparities, human rights, incarceration, injustice, justice, law, legal, moms, mortgage industry\, prison reform, Uncategorized, women's rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Federal Sentencing Disparities are Affecting Me- A Mom behind Bars

I am a 1996 graduate from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Sociology and a certificate in Criminal Justice. In my senior year at UCONN I was an intern at the States Attorneys office in Hartford and had the intention of attending law school after a break from graduating. Instead I took a job at a family friend’s mortgage company and a few years later opened my own, which I operated for nearly 10 years… until the company was sued civilly for predatory lending stemming from an employee that I terminated for fraud. A few years later I was indicted criminally on 20+ counts related to mortgage fraud.

My prosecutor thought a 27 month sentence was fair and just given the sentences of other ‘similar’ codefendants, as he stated in his Sentencing Memorandum and during my sentencing hearing. My presentence report echoed that. So why am I serving a 41 month sentence? Because my judge misread my plea, ignored Supreme Court case law along with policy statement in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and plainly stated that he doesn’t have to consider sentence disparity between codefendants since my codefendant simply received a better plea. So basically my sentence is not indicative of my actual crime and culpability, but rather of the quality of my attorney and the refusal of the prosecution to heed the policy statement in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and consider sentencing disparities in the plea that is offered.. One would think that there are avenues to correct this such as an appeal. My brief has been filed since January of 2013. Policy states the prosecution has 90 days to respond, yet in another act of circumventing policy, the prosecutors still have yet to file a responding brief. They did file a motion however to simply have my appeal dismiss. Why would they do this when the government themselves asserts my sentence is unfairly high? Because they are adversarial to the point of insanity. Insanity for me, the one sitting in a federal prison camp waiting for this lengthy process that could simply have been avoided if my prosecutors, attorney , and judge and followed the policies set forth in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual.

The true victims of my crime are my children. When I feel like giving up to this frustrating and insane process, I think of those two boys who were not given a voice or a consideration in this process, again against written policy of court procedure and policy guidelines. I am 39 years old and self surrendered to the Danbury Prison Camp in July of 2012. My sons David, 3 and Jacob, 5 have been struggling with my absence, as I was their sole caregiver physically, emotionally and psychologically. That has been the worse punishment of all.

In all I have read of sentencing considerations, it continues to baffle me how the children are not systematically given consideration in weighing an appropriate sentencing. Couple this with the findings of the CultureQuantiX study and it is no wonder why this criminal justice system is in such need of reform.

Stacey Petro
Reg # 17986-014
Federal Prison Camp – Danbury
33 1/2 Pembroke Station
Danbury, CT 06811

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Appeal Update

My Appeal Update.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Appeal Update

my update…

Well despite the numerous points of law of why it should continue, my appeal was completely dismissed… WITHOUT EVEN BEING HEARD. 

I will be putting in the mail tonight my complaint again the prosecutors with the Office of Professional Responsibility, for even filing a motion to dismiss my appeal and for giving me a plea agreement that violates existing federal policy to avoid unwarranted disparity. 

This is NOT the end of my fight… I now will proceed with other avenues that they have held me back from pursuing for 12 months now. 

I truly feel that this is insane that such an injustice is even allowed to occur in the United States of America. I am just shocked and stunned that the judicial system rubber stamps what these overzealous and adversarial prosecutors assert.

Thank you for your support for myself, my family and others who would have benefitted from having my appeal even heard based on case law.

And know that…We are not done!

Stacey Petro
reg # 17986-014
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
ROUTE 37
DANBURY‎ CT‎ 06811
United States of America

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Issue of Absolute Job Assurance over Duty and Justice?

The Issue of Absolute Job Assurance over Duty and Justice?.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Issue of Absolute Job Assurance over Duty and Justice?

gavel

I had the honor of reading some of the work done by Dr. Richard Cordero Esq which brings attention to the issue of judicial wrongdoing.
I am, myself awaiting appeal ( still as of this date NO RULING on the motion that was on the calendar for Jan 14th). While waiting, I have researched the case law cited by my judge and found significant misconduct that resulted in my being sentenced to a much higher sentence than a co-defendant that was deemed similarly situated.

When I reflect on statements Hon. Alfred Covello made, I ask myself how such a thing can happen.. and with apparently little recourse to correct it in a timely manner. Dr. Cordero hits the nail on the head when he points out that “once a person is confirmed as a federal judge or justice, he can rely on the secular assurance that he can do whatever he wants and nevertheless keep his job and do so while receiving a salary that cannot be diminished…Such effectively absolute job assurance regardless for performance renders superfluous any sense of duty and due diligence.”

Dr. Cordero also sites that in the 224 years since the Judiciary in 1789, only 8 federal judges have been impeached and removed. That figure is staggering and can certainly explain how the tragedies I witness everyday while imprisoned have come to be.
The question becomes now how can this be stopped??? Bringing attention to these issues in the public forum is critical, since relief in the legal system is fruitless as it is governed by the same arrogant parties. Nine out of  ten appeals are disposed of without any given reason whatsoever. I hope that the issues in my case can be brought to light – in public or in the courts, ideally both. This is also just one more aspect of much needed criminal justice reform in our country.

Dr. Cordero has invigorated my fight, which has been draining in the past days, weeks , and months now, of waiting for some bit of a relief.

Stacey Petro
reg # 17986-014
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
ROUTE 37
DANBURY, CT 06811
United States of America

Posted in accountability, call to action, courts, human rights, incarceration, injustice, justice, law, legal, prison reform, Uncategorized, women's rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment