Clemency for First Offender LaShonda Hall serving 45 years
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My sister, LaShonda Hall, readily admits she was wrong to participate in a drug conspiracy, after she learned about it. But like most conspiracy cases, people who are doing something illegal, usually don't reveal such incriminating facts about themselves on the first date.
At 23, LaShonda was in an abusive relationship. Then, her Knight in Shining Armor rescued her from that life, in what seemed like a fairy tale ending. He was suave, involved in real estate, and best of all, he treated her son like his own. She had stability for almost a year, and it was bliss.
Then, her boyfriend began to reveal things, to see if he could trust her. LaShonda never went looking for the drug world, but suddenly, it was obvious that she was in love with and living with a major drug dealer. It was true he purchased real estate but that is how he was washing his illicit proceeds. He traveled and in time asked her to pick up his "right hand man" at the airport and without fully comprehending the consequences, she was aiding and abetting and became a co-conspirator. Now, she makes no excuses and takes full responsibility. Regretfully, she rejected a plea agreement to testify against her boyfriend and because she went to trial, was sentenced to 45 years for her first offense!
According to LaShonda: I would book flights and deposit money into his account which ultimately got me a charge for money laundering. He messed around with other women and told me he used them to mule his drugs because he wouldn't put me at risk so I justified it, thinking he was trying to keep me safe. I now know I was justifying all of this because I wanted the false security that I thought he provided. I was wrong and I regret that I allowed myself to enter into a lifestyle that has brought me and my family nothing but pain and suffering. It's true I was desperate and desperate people make desperate decisions. The bottom line is that I now take responsibility for my actions. I am not blaming him or anyone else. But, I had never been in trouble with the law until this happened and all I want is a second chance to prove to everyone that I'm worthy of mercy.
LaShonda is my sister and I miss her every day. Her incarceration has hit our family hard, especially on our mother (who is raising LaShonda's son) because we are serving every day of this sentence with LaShonda. We pray every day that President Obama will have mercy on LaShonda and her extended family. Numerous repeat offenders have received clemency and while we are happy for them, we hope that LaShonda, a first offender, will be given a second chance. She won't need a third.
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