Take for example the deal offered Jerry if he would testify against the Colombians, something the prosecutor knew would place him and his family in terrible danger. If only Jerry was involved, the offer would be understandable, but he had a mother, children, brothers, all who would have to go into witness protection. So, when he rejected the offer they threw the book at him, instead of allowing him to spend a couple of years incarcerated.
If he had been caught today, there is no chance he would receive such a harsh sentence, but back then the prosecution laughed at their victory. They relished punishing Jerry, more for what he wouldn’t do than what he did.
Now, I understand that deals are made all the time, it’s the leverage the prosecution has, but this offer I have trouble understanding---freedom vs 66 years! It makes no sense. Understand that I’m not trying to minimize Jerry’s crime. He smuggled drugs, had led a violent life, and probably brought a lot of harm to many people, but he was only charged with smuggling, and it is on this charge where judgments should be made. The feds only attached the drug kingpin charge after he refused to cooperate. If they had charged him with being a bad man, associating with violent people, and all the other things in his life, I might agree with them, but you can’t charge people like that, which is probably good for a lot of us. They could only get him for smuggling.
Another way to look at it is that Griselda Blanco, a woman who was the largest cocaine dealer in Miami, a woman who was charged with several murders, received a far less severe sentence, and was actually released after serving a short time. Why? Well, I have my opinions but you should look into it yourself. But Jerry angered the prosecution by his refusal to cooperate, and they made him pay.
66 years vs freedom?
If this is typical of the prosecution’s approach, no wonder our prisons are bursting at the seams. In going through the trial transcripts, it seems a game of chess where victory is the goal, without any regard for circumstances. And to me this begs the question: who really is the enemy?