John R. Reed -- #930120

30 Years, Drug Conspiracy

John Reed, prisoner of the drug war
My name is John R. Reed, Jr. I am 36 years old and beginning my ninth year of a 30-year sentence in an Indiana prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver cocaine. There were seven codefendants in my case, including my dad and ex-wife who were innocent, merely being in the vehicle in which I transported money. All the co-defendants received no more than a 6-year sentence.

The police claimed to have found residue in my house and a little less than a gram of cocaine in my car; they found a roach at my dad's house. The police found 16 ounces of powder cocaine on one codefendant who received a 5-year sentence; 3 ounces on another who received a 6-year sentence; and varying amounts on others who received probation.

The least amount was attributed to me (residue), but because I wouldn't "snitch," I got the presumptive and punitive sentence of a class A felony that carries a 20-to 50-year sentence.

John Reed with his brothers
I pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that allowed the judge to choose a sentence between 5 and 40 years. It was my first offense, and I was sentenced to 30 years. I have received a Bachelor's degree and two Associates degrees since confinement and have built a clean conduct record along with other signs of rehabilitation, including certificates for self-improvement and tutoring others in many areas. Yet the court ruled 30 years is not an inordinate amount of time for a conspiracy conviction and denied my request for sentence modification, uninterested and unwilling to recognize my earned good-time credit for educational accomplishments.