Befor I got into legal trouble at the age of 18, being arrested and charged with my first felony crime, I knew little to nothing about the prison terms related to felony crimes.
I think knowing how the law applies and how much time people are serving in prison is a social issue that needs to be looked at a little more by people that hold the power to vote and can talk to their local legislators. “Tough on crime” is one way to punish criminals, and in many cases I completly agree with this. I’ve run across some extreamly criminally minded individuals in my incarceration. Tough on crime is one way we have found to protect society from people such as these. However in other cases, I feel the law is applied in ways that may have not been the legislators original intent.
Let me explain how I received a substantially long sentence for attempted manufacturing meth.
My original controlling prison term was 322 months(or 26 years 10 months) followed by 36 months in county jail/12 months each for three misdemeanor charges. This means upon completion of the prison term, I am required to return to county jail and sit for three years. The three misdemeanors that resulted in three years of county jail are (#1 Possesion of drug paraphernalia, a marijuana pipe) (#2 Possession of about two grams of marijuana, that is about $5 worth in states with current legal markets.) and (#3 Possession of one Propoxphene pill, which was found in my pants pocket when they were cut off me in the ambulance… propoxphene is a Darvocet pain pill that is controlled.) Those three charges add up to three years in county jail. County jail is a much different place than prison, you sit in county and basically do nothing but watch TV and sleep. There is no opportunity for programs, very little rehabilitation, and very little recreation. County jail is the worst place to do time, and I am required to return for three years of this as of right now.
I’ll attempt to explain the way my felonys were calculated.
In Kansas, your criminal history determins what box your sentence is calculated in. The boxes range from A through I. (“A” box being the worst criminal history.) Then there is a drug grid and non-drug grid that range in severity of crime in numbers. My sentence was calculated in the H box, which is no previous felony convictions, but having past misdemeanor convictions.
Next, whatever charge carries the most amount of time, meaning the most severly charged crime is calculated in the box your criminal history puts you in. For me, my most severly charged crime was “attempted manufacture of meth.” Each box has three sentences the judge can choose from based on the circumstances of the crime. In H box for “attempted manufacturing meth, the sentences were 161, 150, and 142 months. I received the aggravated sentence of 161 months.
All other crimes are calculated at the lowest box, meaning they drop down to the “I” box. So only one crime is calculated in the box your criminal history puts you in.
For the charges related to the meth lab, there were three other felony charges that went along with the one lab. Possession of ephedrine(sentenced at 51 months), Possession of lithium metal(51 moths), and Possession of drug paraphernalia at(12 months) So the one meth lab resulted in 22 years 11 months in prison.
The charge of attempted second degree murder, related to a car crash concluding a police chase, the charge that I personally consider the most severe, was sentenced at 61 months.
The charge of fleeing/eluding an offier was sentenced at 7 months.
Kansas has a rule that the controlling sentence in prison can only be double the sentence of your most severe crime. So regargless of the number of felony crimes I was convicted of, the 161 months for the manufacturing meth can only be doubled to 322 months in prison for all felonys on this case. However the 36 months in county jail to be served after the prison term is seperate.
This totals my original prison sentence at 29 years, 10 months.
Later the Kansas courts ruled that Possession of ephedrine and possession of lithium metal were basicall the same charge As that time those two charges were merged together instead of being sentenced seperate. This lowered my prison sentence from 322 months, to 292 months followed by 36 months county jail.
I have about 11 and a half years in on this sentence. My release shows 2028 from prison, followed by 3 years in county jail, for a release in 2031, should I serve the entire sentence. For the prison portion of the sentence I can earn 15% good time, so that takes almost 2 years off. No good time is given for county jail sentences.
This was a huge mistake I made at 18 years old. A man got hurt badly when my car wrecked into his. I deserve prison time for the crime. How much time do I deserve? How long will it take to right my past wrong? That isn’t up to me. That is up to the courts I continue to work with anf file motions with. I am hoping the sentecne can be converted to about 14 years, the original plea that was made in this case. I am currently waiting on an appeal ruling. God bless you and thanks for reading my story.
Categories: Paul Stotts