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Reflections from Behind the Wall

April 25 2012

Chuck TurnerDear Friends,

Today is the first day of the 14th month of my incarceration. As I predicted in one of my early reflections, I have been able to use the incarceration despite its injustice as a foundation for strengthening myself for the struggles that will be facing all of us when I finally am able to come home. I not only am healthier but also am stronger on all levels–physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual–than when I left Boston. This experience confirms the wisdom of our elders that adversity can be an ally or an enemy. The choice is ours. I have been informed by Attorney Rankin, my appeal attorney, that oral arguments on the appeal will be heard on May 9th. I will receive more specific information in terms of time and court room during the first week in May. I will post it at as soon as it arrives. Please pass the word. i think it will be fascinating experience since Attorney Charles Rankin and his assistant Attorney Michelle Menken have done what I think is an excellent job in developing the brief.

I have been very fortunate in terms of legal representation throughout this three and a half year ordeal. I tend to agree with the general opinion that the legal work of Attorney Barry Wilson, Attorney John Pavlos, and Kazi Toure would have resulted in a not guilty decision if I had not felt compelled on principle to take the stand. I am still awaiting the decision on my challenge of my removal from the Boston City Council. I am confident of victory given the excellent challenge developed Attorney Chester Darling and Paul Walkowski, former chief of staff for Councilor James Kelly.

If the appeal is successful, my lawyers say the most likely outcome is that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be told that they have to either retry me based on errors committed in the original trial or release me. Given that alternative, U.S. Attorney Ortiz may decide that it is not worth the time, expense, and possibility of losing to try me again. It is also possible that the three judge appeal panel could dismiss the extortion conviction which would be the best alternative. I should know their decision by the end of June or early July. If not successful, I should return to Boston in the late summer or fall of 2013. My final release date if I maintain my good time is November 2, 2013. There is also the possibility of being released to home confinement after July 17, 2013 to await my final release. Three years of probation will follow final release.

The Struggle Continues


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