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Petitioning President Obama

Overturn Lavest Whisenton's conviction; 75 years for 2 "sells"

My husband , Lavest Whisenton, has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for two interactions with a paid informant where a sixteenth of coccaine was sold on each occassion. He was convicted of two distributions and one conspiracy. He was convicted on two of the charges with an audio recording and the other conviction was made off of a video where you can never see the exchange. He had a co-defendant with more charges as she received additional indictments from before she met my husband. On her EIGHT charges (4 distribution and 4 conspiracy), she received 4 years before her one year sentence reduction for helping the prosecution. Lavest had no choice but to take a jury trial when pleading not guilty to a drug charge as these are the rules in Patrick County, VA. He is a 25 year old biracial (Caucasian and African-American) male but when the jury was being selected, there were no choices that were noticeably biracial, only two black candidates, and all but two were at least in their late 30's or early 40's (most older). It was made known in the courtroom by the judge during jury selection that everyone knows everyone in such a small town. A couple days after sentencing, the only black juror went into a store/diner where my friend that went to court with me works. They both thought the other looked familiar and when my friend recognized it was from court, the man (juror) made the comment, "I hate they did that to that boy. I didn't want them to do him like that." This statement basically says they just settled on something to get out of there. The prosecution's star witness which was Chris Ramsey, the informant, commited purgery on the stand and was still allowed to continue and nothing was stricken from the record. He was asked by defense if he tried to bribe me (the wife of the defendant) to pay him in order for him not to show up. He adamantly denied this accusation and even said it was the other way around. The lawyer then played the recording I had made of him trying to bribe me with the amount of money, what he would use it for, and that he would not show up or if he did that he would get his words confused because he had done all this before and that Crystal Wilson (co-defendant) was the drug dealer anyway. He had to admit he lied right then but it still made no difference. The prosecution stated time and again Lavest was the mastermind to these deals and that he made Crystal do this. This accusation holds absolutely no merit as she started selling drugs with her prior boyfriend Rico Scales, before she ever even met Lavest and there are indictments to prove it. She then got Lavest tangled up in her web and he got himself into a world of trouble behind her being a drug dealer and him being with her. The only reason he even got involved with her is because when they met, she told him she was pregnant with Rico's baby and was having a abortion because Rico had already been arrested. Lavest felt bad for the child and told her if she kept it, he would help take care of it... so she did. He stayed true to his word and even after he left her because she wouldn't leave drugs alone, he was still there for the baby. She didn't take the baby from him until he got with me and she realized he wasn't coming back... that's when she began to blame anything and everything she could on him to pay him back for leaving her. At the end of the day, here are the facts. He got 50 years of the time off of an audio recording alone. None of them knew my husband enough to identify him by a voice alone... not even the informant as this was the first time he had met my husband to the prosecution's admission. The video had the wrong dates and they had to pull freeze frames to even show he was in the car but it still never showed Lavest actually handing drugs to anyone. The jury was clearly not a jury of his "peers". His caucasion co-defendant got 71 years less time before reduction on those charges plus many additional. The list goes on and on with the holes in this case that is/was a complete mockery of the justice system. My husband isn't perfect. He has made mistakes as we all have but he is a good man and a wonderful husband. We ask these convictions to be overturned or at least for a sentence to be imposed that actually suits the crime and clearly not more than his co-defendant. It is time to get my husband home where he belongs so we can leave this state with all the negativity and rumors and start a new life together. I love our home but we have no choice but to start over somewhere else after all this. Please help. I can be reached at Angela Whisenton... PO Box 1272... Bassett, VA 25055

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