For 32 years, I had been a resident of Wise County. Now I’m serving a life sentence in the federal prison system for a first-time, non-violent drug crime.
It wasn’t that I had truckloads of drugs, or even that I killed anyone (‘Man gets 40 years for gruesome murder’ was a recent headline in the Messenger). It was for no other reason than I would not cooperate with the government and exercised my constitutional right to a jury trial.
For the amount of drugs I was caught with I should have received no more than 15 years.
What the people of the U.S. do not understand is how their constitutional rights are being destroyed by the so-called “Drug War.” Until you take the politics out, this drug war will never end. Too many elected officials are too worried about being re-elected instead of doing what’s right.
We need more people like Rusty White and Barry Green (who I went to school with in Bridgeport) who are willing to try a different approach instead of a “lock-em-up” attitude.
I’ve just started my 18th year in prison. I have faxed four commutation requests to the presidents during this time for a reduction of my sentence. I believe my family and I have done enough time for a non-violent drug crime. Since there isn’t any parole in the federal prison system, I will never gain my freedom again.
Tommy Jackson, 27477-077
United States Penitentiary