Jackie Quarterman

9 Years - Meth Conspiracy

Dear November Coalition:

Jackie Quarterman, prisoner of the drug war
I was excited, as many others, by the 10th District decision (U.S. v. Singleton) making it illegal for federal prosecutors to promise leniency to witnesses in exchange for testimony.

My two sons and I are victims of this ridiculous process; all three of us are currently in prison. I have a Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling and have worked hard all my life, and was not a drug dealer, but was hounded into getting drugs for a guy who was not only allowed to go scott free, but paid too. I am enclosing a letter that my parents have sent to several Senators and Congressmen to kind of explain what happened to us.

What I'm writing to tell you, (and would love for you to print) is that it is not true that the "procedure is to work up the chain of command in the criminal group, offering immunity or plea bargains to lower-level participants in exchange for truthful testimony against their superiors" as stated by Mike Norton. In our case, the local DCI who had a vendetta against my son, used a guy busted with drugs to "set me up" and then convicted my sons of conspiracy with absolutely no proof of a conspiracy whatsoever.

They targeted us because of my son, and because they wanted to steal my property that I've worked all my life for. They did not even ask the informant who he obtained his drugs from, but used him to not only testify, but to create a case, period. Then, on top of that, they pit family members against family members. The only plea deal the prosecutor offered my other son and I was to testify against the son that they had the vendetta against. I told them that we 'd tell the truth, that my son had nothing to do with me getting the drugs for the narc, but they said that wasn't what the prosecutor wanted. I said, "So, he wants me to lie?" They also did not want the person I got the drugs from for them, because they wanted to blame my son for that. I told them who I got the drugs from, because I did'"t want them blaming my son, but they made no effort to find or arrest that person.

The whole process was a very rude awakening of how our federal judicial system works. There was prosecutorial misconduct and outrageous government misconduct throughout, with total disregard for justice, the Constitution, or human rights. Because we had a jury trial we were slammed with even more time (enhancements etc.) We are still in disbelief. We are in the process of our appeals right now, and pray that this new ruling will vindicate us.

Believe me, there are many others who my sons and I have met through our incarceration (since March 15, 1997) who are little "fish" in the drug game - they do not go after the "big" ones as stated - they are interested in statistics. I have met many women who got more time than the culpable boyfriend, son or grandson. It's ridiculous!

So many atrocities occurred in our case, that I would have to write a book to tell you all of them (which I am doing). The frightening thing is that it is occurring frequently, people "railroaded" by use of paid (in leniency and money) informants. Of course the US Attorneys are panicky, they might have to actually prove a case with real evidence for a change! And, of course they are using the McVeigh case as their typical scare tactic. First of all, there was plenty of other evidence against McVeigh, but if there weren't, even he shouldn't be found guilty on the sole testimony of a paid and/or rewarded informant.

Even the sentencing guidelines give leeway (the only leeway) to give informants (substantial assistance) ridiculously low sentences. It's common knowledge, that often the least culpable ends up with the most time. Our entire case was based on the paid informant, who even committed perjury, Judge Downes read him his rights for committing perjury on the stand; but, of course, nothing else was done to him for it.

I know numerous horror stories of people in prison - women and men, because my sons have heard many too. We thought we were the only ones that were victims of such a "miscarriage of justice" , but found that it is more common than not. Over 90% of federal cases take a plea, because they are threatened with outrageous sentences, and the Feds win 97.5% of their Cases. Now, doesn't something seem a little fishy?

A friend of mine who lived with a man who sold drugs (but had nothing to do with it), was badgered into taking a plea for 12 years, by being threatened with life in prison if she had a jury trial - the same prosecutor that we had (Patrick Crank). Our trial was held in Casper, Wyoming under Judge William Downes, and ended September 3, 1997.

I would be glad to give you much more information, or write an article myself if you are interested in printing the truth. Everything I say can be documented. I am not a liar (or a drug dealer, for that matter!)

Oh, by the way, my sons got sentenced to 6 1/2 and 16 1/2 years, and I got 9. In the federal system you only get 54 good days per year, and when you are sentenced to life - you do get life.

Persona Non Grata

By Jackie Quarterman, POW - 1998

Innocent until proven guilty is no longer true
It's guilty until convicted, once under the shoe

They instantly erase any previous good deeds
We're painted by them to be true demon seeds

As the agent happily pointed the gun at my head
Who's the real psycho here? is all that I said

"Persona non grata", is what my lawyer said
You are no longer human; in fact, you are dead

Don't expect any favors, because none you'll receive
Far worse than a nightmare, they'll make you believe

Don't try to seek justice, you'll be punished far worse.
The justice you believe in is the prosecutor's curse

The shackles are no different than the old stockade
A humiliation so demeaning, the memory won't fade

Not only do they smile at the families they destroy
Pitting mother against child gives them ultimate joy

"If you want to go free, just give us your son"
"I'd rather be dead, just give me your gun"

The Nazi experiments have nothing on them
Far more covert, and surely as grim

The "War on Drugs" is a guise to control and confuse
It's a war against the rights that they want us to lose

As the losses mount up and the prisons continue to fill
I sickeningly wonder how much more blood they'll spill

By far, the most debilitating loss I'd personally face
Are the years stolen from my child, that I can't replace

And the memory of the tears on his tortured face . . .