Thank you for your patience.
We're not allowed to draft the letter for you, but I can give you a sample so that you can see the format (they would just need to be amended to your specific circumstances -obviously everyone has a different situation). I am also happy to review something you write and share my thoughts. I've also given you an outline to follow that might be helpful, below the sample letter.
Here is what a sample letter might look like:
Mrs.or MR.(Name here)
RE: Request for leniency.for inmate (NAME HERE) I.D .# _____________________________
I am writing to urge leniency in the sentencing of (name here) whom I have known since ( number of years here) when I moved to (address / state etc.here) . Please allow me to explain further. The first time I came into contact with him Mr.(place name here) was living at home with his loving parents Mr. & Mrs. ( names here if applicable). I noticed a charming, and gentle personality with an underlying quiet sadness in his demeanor. The subsequent contacts were similar in nature, but up to that point I had no reason to think there was a problem, although his mom drank alcohol daily and is an alcoholic, while his dad worked off and on, and money was tight, which caused most of the arguments between them at home. I soon became convinced there was reason for the sad expression when I saw him in his grandma’s backyard one day and asked out of curiosity why he was crying, and what he confessed to me made me cry also. He said today my dad returned my saxophone and cancelled all future lessons, and how he felt since he was really attached to his favorite instrument and was determined to master it one day and which he played every chance he got, he said his father also will cease to provide him transportation to and from his part time job and was afraid he’d be fired. That meeting allowed him to open up further to me and he explained more about his uncomfortable situation at home between his parents who eventually divorced which has affected him even further.
( Name of defendant here) found himself out of control at that tender age of ( age here) with no real source of guidance from his parents, He is aware of the gravity of his actions, and the time he has wasted, and the pain his actions has caused everyone , and truly regrets breaking his parents heart, and wishes nothing more than to make amends for his actions. His mom Mrs. (name of mom here if applicable) remains optimistic in his soon return home, but talks less these days about her only son Mr.(name of son here) because of the sadness his absence brings to her heart. Mr.(sons name here)meanwhile on the other hand is seeing his mom and (grandma if applicable) get up in age and swears he will do right by them both before it’s too late if given an opportunity to serve them. Please give him a chance to become a productive member of society.
Thank you for considering this request for leniency.
(the writers name here)
The proper manner of addressing the Judge is “Your Honor” or “Dear Judge [Judge’s last name].” The letter should refer to [Defendant’s First Name] by name either between the address and the salutation or in the first sentence. The letter should also contain your return address and the date. Generally, the letter should be between one and three pages long.
As to content of the letter, you want to be able to show the Judge the many positive aspects of [Defendant’s First Name]′s character and background. Of course, it is important that you write your own letter in your own words. It might be good to include, from personal experience, a specific and heartwarming example of your son's generous, kind, and/or loving character. A more general letter about a lengthy and positive relationship in which he has been a trustworthy and caring friend or family member is also helpful.
In contrast, it would not be useful to declare that [Defendant’s First Name] is or must be innocent or to express resentment as to his treatment by the government or the Judge; there is always a risk that such sentiments will be attributed to him and be held against him. Likewise, remember that [Defendant’s First Name] is accepting full responsibility for having done things he should not have done, which he acknowledges were illegal, and which he knew or should have known at the time were wrong. Some indication that you recognize the same, but still have the high opinion of him that you have, can be helpful.
Basically, highlight the positive, explain that he knows he did wrong, and takes responsibility, and ask that he be given a chance to rejoin society, and to be with his family. Definitely don't claim his innocence or argue the merits of the case. It's all about trying to get the best outcome for him now as possible. Also, if he's taken or taking steps to work on his addiction program -e.g., he went into counseling, mention that. If he made or is making restitution for what was taken, make sure that's known. You want to show that yes, he knows he messed up, and made a big mistake, but he sees that and is doing X, Y, Z to try to make up for it, and to correct the errors he made, and get back on a good path.
Here is a sample outline to follow:
OUTLINE FOR CHARACTER LETTER OF SUPPORT TO THE JUDGE
Re: [Defendant’s Full Name]
Paragraph 1 – Relationship
a. In what capacity do you know [Defendant’s Full Name]? (i.e. relative, friend, spouse)
b. How long have you known him/her?
c. Feelings for [Defendant’s First Name] (Important to show love, friendship, respect)
Paragraph 2 – General statement of support
a. Do you understand the trouble [Defendant’s First Name] is in?
b. Have you talked with him/her about their trouble?
c. Are you able to help them in any way? (Place to live, job, other support)
Paragraph 3 – Statement on character
a. What good things can you say about [Defendant’s First Name]?
b. Mention character traits (honesty, courage, love, etc. and examples)
c. Offer any personal experiences or insights that may help the Judge understand [Defendant’s First Name]′s true character.
Paragraph 4 – Conclusion
a. Express to Judge in your own words how [Defendant’s First Name] knows he/she has done wrong, regrets doing what he/she did, and wants to go forward with his/her life.
b. Because probation is a possibility in this case, tell the Judge that you do not think society would benefit from sending [Defendant’s First Name] to jail and that a prison sentence would be detrimental to all concerned. It is important to explain why you think this.
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