Sentencing Clemency

Sentencing Clemency

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D'Anna Fuoco started this petition to Justice Reform Advocates

"Petition for Sentence Modification or Time Cut"

My name is Cal E. Gordon. My fiance, D'Anna Fuoco and I are looking for others that were affected by the courts  imposing cruel, harsh, excessive, and unnecessary sentences without trials in drug cases in New York State. Only drug cases, keeping it non-violent and drug-related. I was arrested on July 1st 2014 for drug sales & possession of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Because of my past record the judge threw his weight around in sentencing me. The A.D.A. prosecuting the case had a very simple job with this judge involved. I was arrested in Warren County. The judge presiding the case was John Hall. I had a co-defendant who had no previous record at all. I was threatened by the judge to take the sentence I have now (which is the maximum allowable by law)  or to go to trial and he would sentence me to two 25-life sentences consecutively for the two drug sales I was involved in. He threatened me. Coerced me under great duress. That's illegal and immoral for a judge to do. He's supposed to be unbiased. I was also made to waive my right to appeal. That was done wrong. The law says  the defendant shall have the "full appreciation of the law", concerning waiving the appeal. Meaning, it would be spelled out why I am getting the maximum allowable sentence without a trial and why it will not be  appealable. That was not done.

And lastly my co-defendant as I said, had no previous record. They were given a flat 7 year sentence with five years post-release supervision. Their charge was not dropped lower in the plea bargaining process. The guideline was 3 to 10 years. And 7 was handed down as a first-time offender! Their sentence and mine has a huge disparity in the amounts. I was given 17 years with five years post supervision. Yes, there of course, can be a difference because I have a past record and my co-defendant did not. But the law says the sentences should not have a big disparity between them.  My direct appeal to the appellate division was denied. Then the Court of Appeals denied me also. My co-defendant went home November 28th 2018 after serving almost four and a half years, while I still have 9 years left to serve. These stiff sentences were given out because my co-defendant and I would not cooperate with the arresting officers to set people up. And to use us to set an example for Warren County, Lake George, New York.

The Rockefeller laws were cruel, unjust, and very harsh. They were changed because they were so harsh and to stop such severe sentences concerning drugs in the future. And after those laws were reformed, some people serving time for drugs with excessive sentences were re-sentenced. Yet with the reform that took place on those older so-called "Draconian" laws, excessive sentences can still be given out.

In my case, I was still given 17 years. I cannot appeal to the sentencing court themselves without the possibility of getting up to 50 -life. My back was against the wall and it still is. My attorney was a private, paid for attorney, who stood back along with the A.D.A. and did nothing while the judge handed out these sentences. In total between the two deals I was involved with, 6 oz. of cocaine, 12 bundles of heroin, and 1 oz. of marijuana was sold. Not making a 17 years sentence even reasonable. My co-defendant had more sales, charges, and indictments than I had, yet got away with less time than I did. Most other NYS counties would have given out considerably less sentences.

We are looking for other drug cases in New York state whether first time offenders, or with past records that received cruel, unjust, harsh, or excessive sentencing. We need your support, God willing. Together, we wish that if you found that some integrity bureaus need to be formed in each County or just for these type cases, so reduced, appropriate sentences can be handed down, without threat of, or fear of really high sentences being handed down. Some of us sold drugs to pay bills after losing jobs, unemployment, and possibly even to supply their own habit if they were using. We'd like the governor of New York state to look into these cases. If no integrity bureaus are formed,  the proper sentences can't be given in the interest of Justice. Judges need to follow possible changed guidelines. Yes 17 years in my case was legal to hand down, if I had gone to trial. I did not go to trial. I was forced into this. Threatened & coerced under duress of a way higher sentence if I didn't take the 17 years. This was what was called a plea bargain for not going to trial. A bargain? 17 years? And the charge was not even dropped one level. Especially in my co-defendants case where they were a  first-time offender.

What I did selling drugs was wrong. I lost my home and all my belongings. And my business. I lost the most precious relationship with my daughter and two grandsons. I would never attempt to do anything to jeopardize my freedom ever again!!!! God has my attention these days for sure. My daughter and grandsons now live without me in their lives because of how much I've hurt them. I live with such guilt and remorse. Only God knows how much. I've so much time left to do before I can be released to prove my future intentions. I hurt them beyond what words can describe. God willing, I will be getting out at the age of 67 years old if my sentence is not modified at all. I can only pray that I can somehow then reconcile with them.

My fiance D'Anna and I are engaged to be married after our friendship of 5 years became romantic. We have support from our church, our Pastor, it's members, family, and the motorcycle ministry that she's involved in. I also plan to be involved in this ministry when I return home. However, that is not all that's planned for the future, if I'm ever given the opportunity. 

We are looking for others in the same situation so that we can be heard and advocated for further. Anyone willing to sign this petition or help us see what we are seeking, will be greatly appreciated. For we are at the mercy of the courts. We  thought and hoped they were sentencing people in the interest of justice, come to find out, that was not the case at all. Now it's time for us all to be heard and re-sentenced fairly.

Thank you and may God bless you all. You are all in our thoughts & prayers.

Cal E. Gordon

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!