Parole Patience Log

Entry 1, from Aug. 28:

My parole board is next week in D.C. I’m so anxious. One of my closest friends and my ex-wife are going to speak to the board on my behalf. I figure if she can still say good things about me, that has to speak volumes, right?

Entry 2, from Sep. 5:

Well, my friend who’s a Major in the Army felt pretty good about how the parole board went. He said the board members’ attention and body language was positive. My ex-wife was more skeptical. She said she was concerned that the board only lasted 35 minutes. I’ve heard that’s actually longer than average. Of course, out of the 15 cases reviewed that day, mine was the only one for which people showed up to speak on my behalf.

Entry 3, from Sep. 7:

The wait for my parole board results is EXCRUCIATING. They said results can take from two days to two weeks. It’s so difficult to manage my expectations/hope.

Entry 4, from Sep. 9:

My name is on the pass roster for an appointment tomorrow morning with the parole analyst. Good thing I work nights because I know I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I’m more nervous about this than I expected to be.

wrestling throw

My request for parole was denied. What a giant punch in the gut. I’m numb. I just need to sleep.

Entry 5: from Sep. 11:

I’ve slept for about 18 hours straight. Now I have to figure out how to tell my kid, dad, and friends that I’m here until next year at the very least.

I get to appeal my parole denial through the commandant to the board in D.C. After two days of letting this sink in, I’m ready to re-attack with renewed vigor.

The board in D.C. made note of all the good things I’ve done, but still said I need to serve more time so as not to “depreciate the severity” of my crime. How do you argue that point?

I don’t think I mentioned it – but only four hours after I received my parole denial I was summoned to Academics to receive a certificate from the commandant. She congratulated me on completing my MBA in only 12 months. It was hard to smile and accept the certificate. Now that I’m thinking about it again…could that have been strategic? A soft pat on the back to lessen the impact of the kick in the pants?

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6 thoughts on “Parole Patience Log

    • Because Russ is still in the appeals process, we’re not talking about the facts of his case in this forum. Sorry. I know it’s an annoying question to have hanging in the back of your mind as you read this.

  1. Congratulations are earning your MBA. That is quite an accomplishment especially at USDB. Sorry about your parole denial. I really hate the clemency and parole board. I will keep going for my son, but I have no faith in them.

  2. I am sorry to hear that. But – to be honest – there was a court sentenced him and he has to serve the time. I can understand that he wants out and back to his family. But as we dont know what the crime was it is hard to judge if it is unfair. As an officer on duty I expect from other officers to stand to higher standards and if the fail to more sever punishments. I read all his blogs. And I might fully understand what he went through. Once myself had to bring someone to this place. It was hard but I trust in our military justice system.

    • I used to have a lot of trust in the military justice system as well. So did Russ. But I think too much trust can make you complacent about aggressively advocating for yourself. So if you or anyone you know ends up with a military court date, please take this advice: pour money into a savvy legal team and set yourself up for the best possible defense/offense you can. The system is not infallible.
      I’m sorry I can’t divulge more about his crime and subsequent court martial. I know that’s frustrating for many readers. In my (admittedly biased) opinion – which is not based on any legal expertise – the reason he’s in prison is because he expected the military system to work for him, trusted military-provided legal counsel, and wasn’t aggressive in his own defense.
      I do think that certain offenses, when committed by people in positions of power, are far more egregious than when committed by their subordinates or the lay-person. That said, I don’t think the military should hold its members to such a high standard that they incarcerate them for crimes that don’t blip on a civilian court’s radar.

  3. I too have a family member in USDB. I no longer believe in justice. Nor military justice. It is unconstitutional not to be allowed trial by jury as others are, When you are poor, you cannot poor money into a trial. Thus you are taken to slaughter by an over zealous prosecution and a liaise/affair defense. To trust in justice and a fair trial is not going to happen. This country is no longer God, country, and family. This has torn our family apart. It could have been handled differently but society is so sad and primitive. USA has more prisons and prisoners than any other country and sentenced are longer and harsher. Mandatory laws with no good time or parole is walking dead for these victims of our injustice. It seems to me as if treatment and caring with forgiveness should still prevail. Why even have a justice system if you are using mandatory laws. I see so much more aide in Canada and England for their soldiers than the USA has.

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