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Justice for John Silversmith

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I had graduated high school, and it was the summer time, when two girls who were consensually hanging out with us at the Tribal Gym and friend's houses met up and partied, hung out and eventually had friendships, relationships. 

The girls at the time were scared if they could get in trouble, so they went with the story the parents and police tried to portray, later in life they have seen me and expressed that if they could come back to the courts and tell them to change the outcome, they would. Which I whole heartedly accepted but as one tried to contact the courts, she got a response of we can't do anything. 

My case was sent to Bay City federal where the judge looked at it and said this is a statutory case and it will not be tried in federal court, so they kicked it back to the tribal government because the case was statutory. Not having the money for proper representation, I eventually was told to take a plea deal of 1 year in jail without registry. Megan's Law passed while in jail. They bring me back tell me I have to register. I get out and I am a tier 2 offender so I get off in 25 years, but five years later out of the blue, the State of Michigan sends me a letter saying I am moving from tier 2 to tier 3, life on the registry. My heart dropped. I received this letter on my birthday. 

Tribal code does not have different degrees but this case was purely consensual and I have not had a reoffense or anything of the matter in 11 years. I have completed probation and have not been back in the courts for anything other than a DUI in 2009. These fines have ridden me of any chance of getting back on my feet. They charged me over $30,000 dollars for jail housing fees alone. 

Help by signing this petition, to not only get me off the SOR registry in Michigan but also for the courts to bring back the girls and have them ask them if they feel comfortable with me being taken off the SOR list. They said they would do that but the courts don't even want to deal with it. 

The girls I occasionally see around town and they hang with old friends, and they tell me they're sorry that this has happened to me, and if they could do anything to help they would.

I am putting this out to the tribal community and society to have my petition signed for me to be able to go back to college and work in any job I choose because I have not had any reoffenses in 10+ years.

Help Saginaw Chippewa Tribal court and the State of Michigan know this is pretty much a case like Zachary Anderson's in the past decade, and he was granted the same as mine which was like Tribal Court's version of HYTA but I got a year in county jail, and was eventually put on the SOR.

Tribal Court's address is 6954 East Broadway, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan 48858



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