That War on Drugs…

When I was still practicing law, I had several friends who were criminal defense lawyers. I still remember a conversation with one of them about the clients he represented in the so-called “drug war.”

Since research confirms that similar percentages of whites and blacks abuse drugs, I wanted to know why  virtually all of the defendants I saw in drug court were black. He told me that earlier in his career, he had represented fairly equal numbers of whites and blacks, but that the young white men disproportionately came from well-connected families–people who “knew people” and could make things uncomfortable for the police and prosecutors. Over the years, forays into comfortable suburban enclaves had diminished, and law enforcement concentrated its efforts in the more “urban” areas from which his then-current clients were drawn.

So I was not at all surprised, to read this recent statement by Former U.S. Marshal and DEA Agent Matthew Fogg.

“We were jumping on guys in the middle of the night, all of that. Swooping down on folks all across the country, using these sorts of attack tactics that we went out on, that you would use in Vietnam, or some kind of war-torn zone. All of the stuff that we were doing, just calling it the war on drugs. And there wasn’t very many black guys in my position.

So when I would go into the war room, where we were setting up all of our drug and gun and addiction task force determining what cities we were going to hit, I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas.

That’s when I asked the question, well, don’t they sell drugs out in Potomac and Springfield, and places like that? Maybe you all think they don’t, but statistics show they use more drugs out in those areas than anywhere. The special agent in charge, he says ‘You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up; somebody’s going to jerk our chain.’ He said, ‘they’re going to call us on it, and before you know it, they’re going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.’”

When people talk about “systemic” racism, this is the sort of thing they mean. I seriously doubt that these officers were personally racist; they were just responding to the reality that going after more privileged folks is a more complicated proposition.

Of course, when the media covers the “drug war,” and the video shows mostly black faces, it confirms viewers’ impression that drugs are an “urban” problem. It reinforces the stereotypes.

And the band plays on….

 

41 thoughts on “That War on Drugs…

  1. The folks in the suburbs may appear to be getting away with drug crimes, and in one sense they are, but like everyone else they end up paying a big price. A white drug addict from Hamilton County ends up in the same hell of a life as one from the big city. That white addict’s parents and friends weep real tears over the destroyed life, the shattered dreams, the crushed hopes just like the black addict’s family and friends. Those white law enforcement agents don’t do anyone a favor, not even themselves. Especially themselves.

  2. This points to the power of self perpetuating biases, systemic racism, the prevalence of class and white privilege that seems to be so impossible to actually name and respond to as a civil society. The linguistic reframing of ‘Black Lives Matter’ is one way of trying to ignore the obvious and silence the truth. Thanks Sheila.

  3. NO American should be in jail for using drugs. We jail our fellow humans because the ALEC people need to fill their for profit jails. Sinful.

  4. Still, Hamilton county is where the money is and odds should dictate that efforts be directed there. A drug bust at 146th street should bring in the high roller lawyers by the dozens, and it would. Most busts at 38th street will not even involve counsel but rather a plea bargain and a lesser sentence. (Lesser than what? Standard charge. Standard plea. Standard sentence.) The real money exists in the long term incarceration of as many as possible and the choice of candidates can easily be selected on a basis of clearest identifiers.

    In other words, the end game is always steeped in racism: To turn black lives into green money. Then follow it.

  5. It is not just White Privilege at work here it is Class Privilege at work. Our Federal Injustice Department has taken the tactic of, Too Big To Fail, Too Big to Jail. The large Corporations can pay a fine and walk away and in some cases not even admit guilt, rarely if ever are the human agents of the Corporate Fraud jailed. The Class Privilege does fall hardest on people of color.

    Interestingly, but not surprisingly according to a Guardian Newspaper article – >> The judge in Ferguson, Missouri, Ronald Brockmeyer, who is accused of fixing traffic tickets for himself and colleagues while inflicting a punishing regime of fines and fees on the city’s residents, also owes more than $170,000 in unpaid taxes. <<< The DoJ’s report criticized the city’s police and court systems for operating “not with the primary goal of administering justice or protecting the rights of the accused, but of maximizing revenue.”

    What we might call a bribe in some circumstances is a Campaign Donation when an Elected Official or wannabe Elected Official receives a check from donor.

  6. Sadly, Earl, you are so right about this. Still, we all pay a terrible price, including the residents of Hamilton County and the white law enforcement officers. That as a society we fail to see this is tragic. We seem to want to hold onto our racism more than we want to end our drug problems.

  7. Begs the question about anti-racism groups focus, confusion of systemic racial disparity and individual acts of bias and the negative power of that confusion.

    Perfect expample is the wretched excess of thinking every police action racist when that’s obviously not true. But is true enough to rouse a slumbering public to a despairing but necessary response.

    I’m curious what surprises would appear on 2 lists. One outlining systemic or institutional racism, the other individual examples and maybe a third, the one that appears racist but is actually very rational and defendable and perhaps not racist.

    I must admit the shootings which are not widely publicized this last week around the fairgrounds – 2 of which close enough to me throw rocks at and one of which I held in my arm personally with towels soaking up blood give me pause.

    But then it would be too easy.

  8. “When people talk about “systemic” racism, this is the sort of thing they mean.”

    No, Sheila, you drew the wrong inference. The cops want a full-on police state, all the time. If they could get their police state in Reston, they would, and they’d be happier about it. Since the cops know they would run into difficulty imposing martial law in affluent areas, they impose it in areas where they can get away with it.

    The cops don’t care about what color the area is. They just want to raid houses, kill people in their own beds, make people stand naked in their own homes with their hands behind their back, push people around, fabricate informants and testimony, and the list goes on.

    Government, as usual, is the problem.

  9. ” We jail our fellow humans because the ALEC people need to fill their for profit jails.”

    I can see where you’d say that, Pat, but the drug war was in high gear long before private prisons came along.

    The enemy of freedom in this country is government and government employees. The drug cops engage in high production destruction of freedom because they want high salaries, high benefits, high overtime pay, high amount of military gear to play with, an important department, and anything that makes them feel better.

    Prosecutors want essentially the same, and they want to keep their conviction rates high.

    Judges are the saddest actors in the drug war story. There’s no excuse for what they’ve allowed to occur, and there’s no excuse for their opinions that have gutted the Fourth Amendment.

    If you want to improve conditions in America, get rid of the drug cops. Just fire every one of them, and you’ll never miss them. They cost us billions in salaries and supplies, and they cost us more billions in the cost of incarceration.

  10. When government rules by dogma rather than science, we end up with poor public policy like, notably, Marijuana prohibition. According to the ACLU, people of color are approximately four times more likely to be arrested for Cannabis than white people. Indiana spends $150 Million dollars every year locking up pot smokers, Black and White. For what end? It’s been repeatedly proven that Marijuana does not lead to other drug use, does not trigger violent behavior and its use is a very healthy thing to do. Yet the City of Indianapolis spent $27,989.45 of OUR MONEY to “Police” the First Church of Cannabis on July 1 of this year to stop peaceful, loving people from using Cannabis as a sacrament. This is wrong on so many levels.

  11. Gopper is right. A problem is government.

    Of course the problems with strong effective government are much less than places with weak ineffective government experience daily. And one of the problems those people experience are lives run by corporations (make more money regardless of the cost to others) and criminals. Of course folks could arm up and shoot it out with the criminals as Gopper prefers.

    So, it turns out, institutions of humans are never perfect. None of them. Not even the Church which advertises input directly from the Big Guy.

    No, compared to Gropper’s heaven, life on earth is problematic. But 1,000s of years of experience by humans have shown us the way.

    Well, some of us. Conservatives deny all that we’ve learned because they prefer the way past. Tribal living. Jungle life. Feudalism for their “advanced” thinkers. They prefer what they do because they love the idea of superior vs subordinate people. They want back what the Revolutionary War ended. They want to be King George and his minions. In fact they believe themselves entitled to all of that because they’re white, male, Christian and American. Exceptional don’t you know.

    So they’d like to end the American Dream so they can have their Conservative Dream at our expense.

    No thanks. We like the founders dream better. It works for all of us, not some of us.

  12. The reason we lost the War on Drugs is because we never went after the money sources then. We only focused on users — and not on the profiteers. Instead of the message “Just Say No” the mantra should have been “Follow the Money.” We might have had a fighting chance it that had been done earlier.

  13. This is not only about “white privilege” if you will. It’s also about socioeconomics and “class”. I wonder if the African-Americans who are in higher socioeconomic areas are also less targeted. I don’t really know. I also wonder what would happen if someone from those higher class neighborhoods got caught in one of the targeted neighborhoods, what might happen. I suppose their privilege would pay off as well. The question for me is, how do we address all the problems in the neighborhood that make it a fertile business ground for drug dealers? And, by the way, treatment centers for addiction have been horribly depleted by managed care.

  14. When we lived in Mexico they felt like America blamed them for our problem. The problem being our demand for drugs.

    Our war has been against that demand and it’s failed.

    Our war ought to be on street and neighborhood suppliers. But for everyone caught another poor sucker takes their place.

    The one strategy left is to legalize it and take away the obscene profits. Not that that will reduce the problem to zero. Nobody has been able to do that. But it would limit the problem.

    Limiting wealth inequity would also reduce the problem. Evidence shows it’s the inequality that causes most problems, not the absolute level of poverty.

  15. What you refer to applies not just to the so-called “war on drugs”, it’s pervasive throughout the entire legal system. This is why, in my opinion, very few people actually respect or honor the legal system. People of color and those at the lower end of the income spectrum don’t respect the system because they know that they are disproportionately arrested and convicted and ordered to serve longer sentences than those with more resources. In civil cases, they are less likely to prevail, and when they do, they receive a lower monetary award. These people are far less likely to serve on juries, too.

    People at the upper end of the income spectrum don’t respect the system because they know the right people and can purchase the best defense, diversionary programs, etc.. The privileged are less often arrested, and when they are, they are charged with lower-level offenses and rarely are jailed for extended periods. There are so many examples. Who’s left to believe that our system actually dispenses justice?

  16. The “War on Drugs.” This is the war that was declared and nobody came. Empty words were their primary, and in many cases, their only weapons. I had a front row seat in the white section; begged for help from authorities was ignored. And now we see the scorched-earth aftermath in our cities and towns and authorities shake their heads and ask why there are so many problems with our young people. Many of them are children of those whose parents begged for help but it never came. Passed down through two generations that I can bear witness to. Laws with no authority or action behind them are empty words; an echo from our own past, white, black and brown.

    I wonder; are any of the privately owned, supervised and maintained prisons owned by blacks? Don’t bother looking into that, we know the answer. We are witnessing the late 20th Century and early 21st Century form of slavery; the white man is still making money off of the lives of black men and women…and sadly, black children.

  17. Gopper;

    prisons have historically been ‘private’. The sheriff was empowered to maintain a jail and be justly compensated for the care on a per inmate basis. A recipe for disaster from the start. Then they discovered they could make even more by renting black labor out: the Southern chain gang and Dough Blackmon’s “Slavery by Another Name”.

    The sheriff always put this money in his pocket. Thusly the office of Marion County Sheriff was the highest paid position in the state of Indiana until a black man was elected to the office. Then they changed the whole position and asked the sheriff for the money back. And he returned it. He knew how the system works.

    So you see, there really was a black prison for a time. Money for black lives went to a black man. Hold on there!

    We can’t have that!

  18. One of the destructive consequences of our caste society is that it is self sustaining. We believe from the news that black thugs are everywhere and they all belong in the ground or prison while white thugs are running for President.

    What prejudice created is now seen to be reality.

  19. Shelia: So true and well said. Unfortunately the drug issues are now in the concentrated “white” areas of small towns across America where there is no or low-wage employment. Southern Indiana, Connersville, etc. is a microcosm of the American problem. Shut down the dealers, not the users. Another good article …. “Is there really a war on drugs?” It’s big money for this country and many of its industries. However, I do not believe anyone can support or defend the dealer, no matter his or her economic status.

  20. A long time ago Eisenhower warned against the Military-Industrial Complex, as an unduly influential pressure group that affected government expenditures both through explicit lobbying and through less obvious effects on retention of failing projects in order to prop up a region’s economy, and therefore the re-election prospects of that constituency’s representatives.

    The so-called war on drugs was an extension of that, the three-strikes laws were a further expansion of the same idea, and, most recently, the so-called war on terror is yet another addition to the absolutely huge law-enforcement constituency that essentially gets whatever they want.

    DAs end up in the legislatures & in higher state offices, and their friends in the state & federal police forces call in favors all the time. Coupled with the unwillingness of the media to bring any sense of proportion to the “more cops” drumbeat (gotta have those leaks from the prosecutors offices!), there’s really no stopping the progression to a full-on police state – it’s simply a matter of time.

  21. Ron, what you say is true. And scary. There has never been a weapon system created that was not used. Usually they are tested on the ‘darker races’. But not always. Germany breaks the mold by raining terror on its neighbors. But Britain, France, Belgium and America have no compunctions against using all sorts of terror weapons against any and everyone. Including their own people.

    We have saturated the African, Southeast Asian and even the South American continents with countless weapons. We rained Stinger missiles on tribespeople and then tried to buy them back.

    NRA mentality exported.

    Now we have knuckle draggers echoing the Heston mantra; ” From my cold dead hands!”
    Just as everyone they shoot today was ‘found to have a handgun’, tomorrow you will be ‘found to have one’. And you will disappear in a puff of smoke and some clown in Vegas will high five his partner and shout, “Did you see that shit?”

    Your MIComplex at work.

    Oh, yes. Jerry, we’re still waiting.

  22. I’m a 90-year old conservative but I say, adamantly, decriminalize recreational drugs and examine old convictions to clear names and criminal records.

  23. I had an acquaintance who was a patrolman. I asked if he was trying to be upgraded and he said he did not ever intend to apply for another position. He said this position was great because if a patrolman pulled over someone of some influence many times when the license was requested it was handed over with a $50.00 or even a $100.00 bill under it and sometimes even more. The person usually went happily on his way and never appeared in any court.

    There was a regional supervisor over several departments of a job I held. He lets it be known that if anyone had received a ticket, give it to him with $100.00 in an envelope and the ticket would never be heard from again. I heard he knew someone with power downtown so obviously affluent people have many ways never to have to be in court. How many inner city people could do that? First of all they wouldn’t have the money and I doubt it would work for them if they did have it. They would probably be arrested for trying to bribe an officer.

  24. Sabra; think Ferguson, Mo. They weren’t into the quality of their ticketing by police but the quantity; that brought in the money.

  25. And, while the band plays on, what’s to keep any of us from making a difference in a student’s life that may, or may not, ultimately make a difference in that young person’s experiencing a sense of lasting empowerment via his/her education in our public schools, whether in Indiana or elsewhere? Seriously, there are so many needs in our public schools’ delivery of instruction to all our children that our collective heads should spin making us dizzy.

    It’s not necessary that we possess the personal funds of Stephen Colbert who recently covered all the grant initiated needs of each of the classroom teachers in his home state of South Carolina. What a wonderful gift from Colbert that we can only wish to emulate based upon our personal bank accounts. Nevertheless, we can make a difference individually when we browse the many needs from classroom teachers across the nation at donorschoose.org and commit to donating a one-time $5 to $10 to $50 or more to a specific project identified by a classroom teacher.

    It’s amazing how quickly the once important disagreements between people will disappear when considered in the big scheme of needs for our children. Here’s a sample link: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/bringing-technology-to-the-classroom/1647944/

  26. Pingback: That War on Drugs
  27. Wait, what? Knew people that could make “things uncomfortable for the police and prosecutors.”?

    Having spent many years as a prosecutor, I can’t imagine anyone that could have made me uncomfortable that the richest defendant knew. I had all the power. And I can say that I never even looked to see if a defendant was white or black before making a plea offer. The only considerations were the facts of the crime, the history, and post arrest actions. Race never once entered as a factor.

  28. Let’s give it up – put our hands together – for Saint Kilroy. You must have written that with your tongue stuck in your cheek. Sorry, but I don’t believe you otherwise.

    The 16 month anniversary of my attack, injury and robbery on my driveway at 11:00 in the morning was August 21st. The August 17, 2015, the FOURTH trial date, I can only assume has been continued again because I have heard nothing more from the prosecutor. The white attacker had no job, no money that is why he attacked and robbed four old women in two weeks, injuring two of us, to get rent and drug money. None of us are rich and couldn’t afford the losses. He and his getaway driver were arrested after attacking victim number four on April 29, 2014. I finally got a response from the prosecutor (the woman on our side?) that the attacker’s defense attorney is the lead attorney in the Richmond Hills case. No idea if I was to be honored that “we” are up against such an important man or assured of “winning” because he lost his case and his defendant received 53 guilty verdicts.

    However; the prosecutor also told me that the attacker has written her several letters, each one offering to serve a longer sentence to get this trial over with. She has sent plea agreements to the lead defense attorney who has denied all of them. I’m sure he doesn’t have time to deal with our petty muggings, injuries and losses but what I understand even less is why our case was assigned to him one year ago. The Richmond Hills case is almost THREE years old so he was already involved in a major case involving two deaths and millions of dollars in losses.

    The fact that the attackers had been identified after victim number two and were being followed by IMPD undercover officers since that day; how were two more of us attacked and robbed? The undercover cops sat in the small MCL parking lot and watched the CAR, didn’t see the man get out and attack and rob victim number four. They followed the car to a Shell station where they received a call on their radio that another victim had been attacked in robbed in the MCL parking lot they just left. Is there any logical reason we should have confidence in or believe we will have any semblance of justice in Indianapolis? Black or white. Maybe, maybe, if the assailant and driver were black, this case would have been resolved in a timely manner…or not…victims have no rights. Not even white victims. Color me disgusted.

  29. JoAnn: read your comment and don’t understand what your complaint is. Mark Leonard’ was defended by Diane Black of the public defenders office. Not exactly a high priced attorney. It is not rare at all for major felony cases to take over a year to conclude.

  30. Kilroy; my complain is the time frame regarding our case, I was the youngest victim the week before my 77th birthday, the oldest was 90, the others 84 and 85 years old. I just got a message from prosecutor Anne Frangos that a new trial date has been set for November 2nd. The defense attorney “may” want to take depositions and Frangos believes we “can make this work” in my case due to my deafness. Am I the first deaf victim in the state of Indiana to be a crime victim? She hasn’t taken my deposition,nor has she requested a signed “release of information” form for my medical records from the ER. Why was this case assigned to any defense attorney in the middle of a double murder trial including total destruction of an entire neighborhood amounting in the millions? Did they not know a major felony trial could take over a year to conclude? Factor in the criminal (with a criminal history regarding drugs, including prison term) is offering multiple guilty pleas and to serve time but is ignored. Frangos “thinks the defense attorney is on vacation this week”; well deserved, I’m sure but, accepting a plea agreement would have lowered her caseload. I worked in the Municipal Court System in the Probation Department, also worked for three attorneys in one office, worked for the DMD legal representative who wrote and rewrote Indiana legislation, worked for the Indiana Board of Law Examiners and twice yearly at the law exams. I am not an attorney or a paralegal but I am not entirely ignorant of the law.

    Also; my complaint contained an explanation that the mugger and his driver had been followed by undercover cops for days before I was attacked in my small neighborhood with only 1 way in and out. As I lay bleeding in the grass I asked the uniformed officer why anyone would come into this neighborhood to rob anyone. He wrote to me that I had been followed. I wondered at the time how he could know that; got the answer in the police report attached to the court documents. They didn’t see me get attacked, didn’t see them use my two credit cards 8 times in five different places but found them at a nearby motel that evening. Why were they not notified of my attack and to find the car they “lost” within a short distance between Kroger and my home? One undercover officer rented the motel room next door to them to “continue surveilance”…pardon me while I laugh at the nerve to use that word. Victim 4 was attacked as they watched the car, but not the people in it. If the system is waiting for we four old women to die; I ain’t goin’

  31. Judicial system is slow and cops can’t be everywhere all the time. Bad things happen to good people. What does any of that have to do with the war on drugs and race?

  32. Well Kilroy; Mark Jones’ criminal history with prison term is for drugs, his niece/live-in-girlfriend/mother of his child, Lindsey, also has a criminal history for drugs but no prison term…yet. They are white, she bailed out within weeks, he is still sitting in jail, offering a guilty plea and lengthening the offered time to serve but is ignored by his attorney. In this instance he can be considered a white criminal who is being victimized by his right to a speedy trial being denied. We are all aware the judicial system is slow; it also stalls out to a dead stop at times. This is one of those times. As for the cops not being everywhere you obviously missed that they were sitting in the small MCL parking lot (at East 10th and Arlington) watching the car, the only innocent part of this situation. Let me use the NRA and cronies plea, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” but change that to “Cars don’t attack and rob people; people attack and rob people.” It is obvious you are a defense attorney; maybe if you were representing me and the other three elderly victims, this case would have been resolved by now – after more than 16 months…trusting you are a qualified defense attorney.

  33. Sorry, guessed wrong. I only do civil work these days and have never acted as a criminal defense attorney. So you are complaining that your assailant is stuck in jail?

    No one is representing you and victims. The prosecutor represents the State, not individuals. While there are specific duties regarding treatment of victims, the prosecutor is not your attorney is not beholden to you. I do have a lot of issues with the Marion County prosecutor’s office and think that it does fail in many of its responsibilities, but nothing you are describing sounds like any kind of failure yet.

  34. You asked what my comments had to do with drugs and race; the Jones couple are drug addicts with criminal histories for drugs – they are white, pointing out that it isn’t only blacks arrested and in jail or prison for drugs…or any other charges.

    Not complaining that Jones’ right to a speedy trial is being violated; again pointing out that he is white and not only blacks legal rights are violated by the judicial system. I am relieved he is still in jail but he should be in prison by now and is virtually begging to get this over with. Stick with civil law; you don’t have the feelings to deal with victims of criminal acts or to defend the criminals…not all of whom are guilty. I am well aware the prosecutor is defending the state; rather the state laws that are supposed to defend victims of criminal acts. The state wasn’t injured, the victims were and this city is refusing to file Battery charges for our physical injuries because they are misdemeanor level…in the eyes of Frango and/or the prosecutor’s office. Some of my injuries are permanent, placing them in the one felony level of Batter. Another “but” here as stated by Frangos, “…the more charges we file, the more charges we have to prove…” That is what they get paid to do. If you look at it from my point of view – you will consider this convoluted – my tax dollars are paying the prosecution and the defense; isn’t that a conflict of interest on the part of the defense:)

  35. Don’t have the feelings? I was a major felony prosecutor for years and spent plenty of time working with assault victims, rape victims, child molest victims…

    Looked at his case chronology, I’ve read your comments, I don’t see anything about it that seems unusual or why you are complaining. Guy is charged with 2 B felonies and 3 C felonies, looks like the sentence could be consecutive, so he’s facing rest of his life in prison. There would be no point in filing misdemeanor or even D felony battery when they would be lesser included of the B felony charges. What are you complaining about?

  36. Kilroy; I will respond this final time, not because you believe yourself to be all-knowing and aware of this entire situation but I do not want Sheila’s readers to have the mistaken assumption that you know everything there is to know about this particular case simply because you are an attorney. You would never understand why I am complaining; trying to reach you is like explaining something to Gopper.

    My VISA was used 5 times and my Walmart card 8 times by Mark and Lindsey Jones on the day of the attack, April 21, 2014. In a letter dated April 26, 2014, PNC Bank Fraud Division notified me of 3 of the fraudulent charges by Jones, 2 additional charges came in later. There is only 1 Forgery charge against them for using the credit card of victim number four, there have been no additional charges filed since the original court filing on May 1, 2014. Neither Jones has been charged with all of the crimes committed against ME on April 21st.

    On April 29, 2014, Detective Sullivan came to my home to tell me Mark and Lindsey Jones had been arrested. I gave him a copy of the letter and list from PNC Fraud Division regarding my VISA card; he neglected to give it to the prosecutors but two IMPD officers picked up a copy later.

    The first contact from Deputy Prosecutor Anne Frangos came addressed to JoAnn Green using a wrong address; the letter begins, “Dear Sir or Madam:”. Included in the body of the letter is the statement “the address listed above is incorrect”. Fortunately; my mail carrier recognized my name and delivered the letter to my home. This beginning did not instill faith in the Prosecutor’s Office but did reaffirm my faith in the U.S. Postal Service. She has never requested a release of information form to obtain copies of my medical records regarding injuries caused by Mark Jones but did ask me to send a copy of my copy. This cannot be used as evidence; she needs a certified copy to even refer to in charges during pre-trail conferences. I assume she received a copy of the IMPD Forensic Officer’s examination of my injuries – but I can only assume this. There has never been a request for release of information regarding my credit card frauds/forgeries so there has never been an investigation. What the other three victims suffered or lost, what crimes were committed against them I do not know. You read the charges so you know that the Joneses were not charged with all crimes they committed during their two week spree against 4 old women…that we know of.

  37. “You would never understand why I am complaining; trying to reach you is like explaining something to Gopper.”

    Smoochie, JoAnn.

    “My VISA was used 5 times and my Walmart card 8 times by Mark and Lindsey Jones on the day of the attack, April 21, 2014.”

    There really is no excuse for not charging a felony for each of the 8 credit card charges. JoAnn is right.

    “This cannot be used as evidence; she needs a certified copy to even refer to in charges during pre-trail conferences.”

    Aggravated Battery can be charged without meticulous medical records. If the Prosecutor knows you were smacked around and sent to the hospital, that’s good enough to get the case moving. The State can worry about obtaining evidence to prove battery as the case works toward trial. There’s no excuse for not filing a battery charge.

    It looks like the State did obtain a no-contact order.

    “There has never been a request for release of information regarding my credit card frauds/forgeries so there has never been an investigation. ”

    Inexcusable.

    “You read the charges so you know that the Joneses were not charged with all crimes they committed during their two week spree against 4 old women…that we know of.”

    Looks like JoAnn has proven her case. I’m convinced. What are you going to do about it, Kilroy? This is real crime. This is strongarm dirtbag crime, not victimless nonsense. The Jones boys are why we have jails, not to lock up child support delinquents and weed smokers.

    Lindsey Jones has been charged with four counts of robbery and one count of forgery. Case No. 49G02-1404-FB-022033

  38. Wow Gopper; thank you for understanding and speaking out regarding the letter of the law and the meaning of the law. Kilroy admits to being, “…a former major felony prosecutor for years…” and “…only do civil work these days…”, “…never acted as a criminal defense attorney…”. I shied away from referring to him as “one of them”; meaning one who knows and uses loopholes and shortcuts to ease their workload and “legalese” to appease victims into believing they are actually being protected by the system. Your referral to this being a “strongarm dirtbag crime” is on target; the Incident Title by the responding officer on the IMPD East District Information Card reads, “Robbery – Strong Arm”.

    My “complaining” is not only for myself; I can only use my case knowledge as examples; my concern is for the other three elderly victims and Jones (if he is ever convicted) being eligible for early parole due to his propensity for violence – especially against elderly women – not listed in his charges. The excuse given by Deputy Prosecutor Frangos is that the Robbery charge contains the language that my personal property was taken “…by putting JoAnn Green in fear or threatening the use of force on JoAnn Green which resulted in bodily injury, that is; pain, to JoAnn Green.” Obviously the basic description of a Robbery charge. She also actually stated, “…the more charges we file, the more charges we have to prove…” My medical report, the permanent damage done to my neck and the dent in my forehead are evidence, no investigation needed.

    Victims have no “right to a speedy trial” or to charges filed against their attacker but, not filing charges for all crimes committed should not be a legal option for prosecutors. My reference to Mark Jones’ right to a speedy trial being violated is simply another example of the lack of investigation by anyone into this case. He is virtually begging to be allowed to plead guilty and begin serving his sentence. Obtaining drugs is the primary reason for these crimes by two people who already have criminal histories based on drugs. The race issue is that it is not only blacks who are treated unfairly in the judicial system. Kilroy was doing some “chest pounding” and letting us know how knowledgeable he is regarding legal matters. I am relieved he is no longer prosecuting major felonies in my case. Again, thank you Gopper for speaking out.

  39. You act like prosecutors have limited resources at their disposal instead of the actual situation being the same drastically reduced budgets like just about every other government agency. Prosecutors cannot charge every single possible crime during a two week crime spree as it becomes pointless. From the charging information and based on his history, looks like he is facing enough time that he won’t be released during your lifetime. So what would be the point in additional charges that would just be lesser included offenses that would merge upon conviction anyway?

    Now if the prosecutor gives a ridiculously light offer or the judge sentences to some small amount of time, I’ll understand your complaints, but so far I just don’t see anything with substance.

  40. Kilroy, bull.

    Aggravated Battery is not a lesser included offense in credit card fraud.

    There’s no excuse for not charging the Joneses with every count of Aggravated Battery they committed against each victim and every single count of credit card fraud the committed or attempted. Aggravated Battery seems a mild charge. The Joneses may have been out for murder if their victims didn’t relent.

    As there’s two of them, you may have a point in backing off the “Conspiracy to Commit…” the aforementioned crimes, but conspiracy wasn’t even charged, so you can’t even use this as a bargaining chip.

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