Al Pastor -- #04161-003

22 Years -- Drug Conspiracy

Al Pastor, prisoner of the drug war
As a nonviolent, first-time drug offender and a known mule, I was sent to prison for 22 years. At 29 years of age I made my first mistake. I was caught up in a reverse sting in Alabama.

Now, after being incarcerated for 11 years and being away from my loved ones, I know that I was unwise. I have know this for years. I have learned my lesson, but so many years in prison only puts hate in your heart for a cruel and unjust system. There are many judges who are against these laws.

Please! don't take the rest of my life away from me. I know in my heart I deserve at least one more chance at life, so please don't lock me up and throw away the key.

My family and I urge lawmakers to dig deep into their hearts, and look deep into these mandatory sentences that many judges oppose. Fairness dictates that judges should not be controlled by laws that allow prosecutors to arbitrarily impose lengthy sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenders.

Please find a way to end this madness. My family is 700 miles away so I can only see them every 4 months. My children are Christopher, 16, Jonathan, 12, and Kassandra, 11. I have lost all these years with my children. Please help them stop this madness. I want to go home to my family.