A bunch of us went to Jesse’s court appearance this morning on the charge of violating probation in California. We got to see Jesse and he looked to be in good spirits, though was not allowed to communicate to us. Very little happened during his court appearance, his lawyer asked for a continuance and it was granted. So what will happen next is that on March 24 the lawyers and judge will meet in a closed courtroom to discuss the case and decide on a deal, and then he will appear in court the next day. Right at the end, the judge requested that the lawyers approach the bench and most of the talking happened then. Here is what we found out from his lawyer:
- The Santa Clara Country probation department is taking this situation really seriously, more seriously than Jesse’s lawyer had anticipated. To them, it is simple: you are on probation for a felony, you commit another felony, you should go to prison (they recommended for 15 months).
- The judge doesn’t necessarily agree. He asked if this was really a prison case. He is willing to give Jesse good points for having paid all of his restitution in both cases, returning to California to turn himself in, and will probably greatly appreciate a well-laid out legal argument, which is what Jesse’s lawyer intends to provide.
- At the closed discussion, the judge will want a full report: documentation of everything Jesse has done to make amends, fines paid, any evidence of contact with probation and character references. Jesse’s lawyer will request “probation to terminate upon release” which means that he will ask that Jesse be released and that his probation sentence be considered served already by the time that Jesse is spending in jail right now.
- Jesse’s lawyer wants to hire a former probation officer to help prepare what is basically an alternative probation recommendation. This would entail him meeting with Jesse and his lawyer and helping put everything together and phrase everything in a way that is most likely to be amiable to the judge and probation department.
- THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART: Though Jesse’s lawyer is working for free, this probation guy is probably going to cost $500. We need to get the money to his lawyer ASAP so that they have enough time to put together the report. I am pretty sure we can do this in no time. If we all pitch in $10 each, we probably can make it happen.
- Now is a good time to write character reference letters if you haven’t already. We are going to get a bunch all together and fax them to his lawyer. You can email them to us.
- If you have any questions, email us at supportjesse (at) riseup dot net