Thursday June 11, 2009
Today arrived in court not sure what to expect. The Judge had changed the time from 10 am to 9:30 am so we were there at 9:15 am to find the hall filled with supporters from around the state. Also LA Times, New York Times and Associated Press were there with pens in hand. We entered the court room and sat on our side of the room while the Prosecutor and his hench men sat across from us. The prosecutors tend to keep their face down acting like they are reading cause they don't really want to have to look anybody in the eye. One of the prosecutors Rasha, looked at me in the eyes and gave me a friendly smile. Not sure what my response was. Anyhow the Judge called the case United States of America vs Lynch. My attorneys had filed some new motions and the Judge started off pretty mad because of the late filings. My attorneys started by asking for a new trial based on the statements made by the prosecutor during an off the record meeting where he said it was policy of thier department to only prosecute cases that violated state and federal law even before Eric Holder's recent statement and how they with held information that would have helped the jury find me innocent. Also the motion accused the Prosecutor of misconduct for with holding information. The prosecutor got pretty mad and annoyed and boilded over has he argued his position. Reuven Cohen one of my Federal Public Defenders filibustered for the new trial. At one point the Judge said that we would not be able to resolve such an issue today hinting at another continuation. The judge finally denied the motion and moved to the sentencing arguments. John Littrell, one of my other Federal Public Defendors, argued about the one year sentence and noted that the laws says that the one year required on one of the counts is not required if there is a stiffer sentence in other charges. Since I was facing 5 year mandatory minimums this seemed to make sence but the judge called it a 'hat trick' and denied the legal interpretation. The judge then stated that he did not see a way around the 1 year required on the sales to persons under 21. My body flushed blood and went numb knowing that now I was going to get at least 1 year. Next they started arguing about the 5 year mandatory minimums. The government continued their argument that I was the leader organizer and while my attorneys argued against it. Finally Cohen asked the judge what he planned to do and that would help him to know if he needed to continue the arguments. The judge finally stated that he was going to apply the safety valve to avoid the 5 year mandatory minimums based on the facts that I had 'registered with government and was not the typical drug dealer the laws were designed for. The proseuctor really got mad and the judge told him that he would write his opinion on this so that it was clear why he applied the safety valve. In a way I was releived that I was not getting a five year sentence. The judge continued, not looking up, saying that there appears to be grounds for appeal in this case that have not been brought up yet and that I was not a flight risk so he allowed me to stay out on bail pending appeal. He then ended the hearing and everybody got up to leave, when one of my other lawyers, Guy Iverson, realized that he was not done. He quickly pointed out that it was not clear what the sentence was for each of the counts. And so with half the court room still standing the judge went back on the record and continued the sentencing count by count. I essentially recieved a 1 year and 1 day sentence with four years of supervised release. The extra day allows me to get out on good behaviour if I ever actually go to jail. After the hearing I spoke with the LA Times, New York Times and Associated Press and then walked out of the court room to supporters who applauded as I walked out of the court house. There was a press conference on the steps and then we went to lunch. In regards to the prosecutor I have never seen anybody so mad that somebody was not going to spend five years in prison and then on the other hand my people were so glad that I only got one year. I just wish that it would be over so I could get on with my life.