MAPS Correspondence: Greetings from the POW Camps

Spring 1994 Vol. 04, No. 4 Laying the Groundwork

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Dear MAPS:

Hi and greetings from the POW camps. I thought you might by interested in an update on the federal laws.

The amendment to the US Sentencing Guidelines for LSD did become effective November 1, 1993 as everyone expected it to. One dose of LSD on blotter paper now weighs 0.4 mg regardless of the actual strength of the LSD or the carrier weight.

The difficult part of this amendment remains that it is written so that it fails to override the law on mandatory minimums. The law still reads s"a mixture or substance containing.s" If the court so chooses, it can use the 0.4 mg to determine the sentencing level but use the entire weight to determine the mandatory minimum sentence.

I was sentenced in the 8th District in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The policy developing there seems to be that if you cooperated – put someone else in prison – 0.4 mg is used for all calculations. If you didnt, the mandatory minimum calculation will revert to the entire weight. Just another government blackmail tool.

I understand that many other districts are denying all sentences below the mandatories. Some of these cases have gone to appeal with hopes of getting a helpful Supreme Court decision.

So, the issue is still not resolved. In my case in particular, the prosecutor says that resentencing is optional and he doesnt believe that I deserve it. In fact, he would still like to depart upwards from my original 24 year sentence. I believe I will be successful in getting a sentence somewhere between 14 and 17 years but will have to wait and see.

As always, I appreciate the MAPS journal that you send to me. This is indeed a problem to be attacked in all ways. Valid research, legal victories, and convincing the public will all be necessary in order to free the magic. I appreciate the part you do and wish I could be of more help. But I guess my lot is to fight the courts. We all have our roles. Good luck with yours.

peace and love,

Nancy Martz
Unit C
5701 8th Street
Camp Parks
Dublin, CA 94568

The November amendment is helping to reduce some prisoners excessive sentences. Sadly, too many still suffer from mandatory sentences, drug laws that Congress passed in 1986, ’88, and ’90 that prohibit a judge from considering anything except the type of drug and its weight when sentencing a drug offender. If you are interested in obtaining more information about minimum mandatories and the sentencing guidelines you may write to:

Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Ste. 200 South
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (202) 457-5790

Writing letters to Congresspeople is still essential to getting US laws to reflect our beliefs in freedom and appropriate sentencing.