Now that I've been accepted into the jungle habitat of cell A-203 and have finally gotten comfortable, I'm starting to get a good idea of who else is on A-Upper range. Turns out that SpongeBob SquarePants is right next door to me! Obviously SpongeBob SquarePants isn't his real name, but it's so commonly used that even most of the guards know him only as SpongeBob. It's cool to call him SpongeBob for short, or Sponge. Or Bob. Don't ever call him SquarePants, though. Don't ask why, just avoid doing so at all costs. There are quite a few odd individuals around here, but besides his nickname, SpongeBob SquarePants is a pretty normal guy by society's standards. 5'6", slight build with a scraggly salt-and-pepper beard which gives him an unfortunate Charles Manson-ish appearance. Rather than orchestrating the murders of upstanding Californians, though, SpongeBob wouldn't hurt a fly. A graduate school dropout, Bob's actually a surprisingly rational and intelligent guy. Just an unfortunate victim of the new American scourge called methamphetamine. His addiction to this horrible drug, he explained, was precisely what gave him the life sentence he's serving.
Sponge, you got a life sentence? I asked him. Yep, he said. What'd you do, kill somebody for it? No. Rape somebody? No. Did you try to kill somebody? No. Did you know someone who killed somebody? No. Did you know someone who thought about killing somebody? No. Did you get the judge's daughter pregnant? Yes... I'm just kidding, no. SpongeBob SquarePants finally explained that to be sentenced to life in prison, all he had to do was tell his ex-girlfriend he'd sell her 3.5 grams of meth.
The story according to him is that the ex-girlfriend who had actually introduced SpongeBob to the drug several years before called him up one day and asked him to sell her 3.5 grams, an 8-ball in druggie vernacular. Bob tells me that he was a regular user at this point in his life but had no ambition or desire to become a dealer at all. He did have to meet his own dealer later on that day, and to pick up an extra 8-ball for a woman he knows was no big deal, so he tells her on the phone that she should stop by his place the next day to pick it up.
Sponge says the next day his ex-girlfriend never showed up. Calls to her phone only got a recording. No big deal. Until about a month later when Federal agents arrested Bob in his workplace, charging him with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The court transcripts I've seen tell how Bob's ex-girlfriend, apparently a woman with a grudge, was arrested in a neighboring state several months back with a small amount of meth. As she's being interrogated about whom she bought the drug from, guess where she points the finger. "Oh yeah?" her interrogators say, "tell us about some other times you've bought from this guy." Ex-girlfriend gets booked and eventually some "concerned citizen" contacts the police and says that he wants to come clean about buying dope from this guy Bob. SpongeBob tells me that he later discovered that Concerned Citizen is actually ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend. Concerned Citizen lists another dozen drug purchases from Bob and all of a sudden the D.E.A. hears about this meth kingpin SpongeBob SquarePants. In exchange for sentence leniency, ex-girlfriend agrees to assist in bringing down this druggie menace to society. The call was made, the Feds were recording, SpongeBob dug his own hole and didn't even know it.
After SpongeBob's arrest and arraignment, his court-appointed lawyer came to discuss the case. The lawyer tells Bob that he's toast. He's being charged not only with the 8-ball he without a doubt agreed to distribute in the recording, but also with every grain of the "ghost dope," more Federal lingo for the drugs people are charged with which exist only on the word of other druggies, which ex-girlfriend and Concerned Citizen claimed they bought. Lawyer explains that the grand total is just under a kilogram of methamphetamine and the maximum penalty for SpongeBob's charge is life. Life in Federal prison isn't translated as 20 or 30 years; there is no parole for lifers. When a person is given a life sentence in Federal court, s/he will die in prison. Lawyer-guy advises SpongeBob to work with Federal investigators and plead guilty for a 10-year sentence because losing at trial would be flirting with a life sentence and Bob would lose. Now wishing he hadn't, SpongeBob SquarePants took his case to trial, unable to stomach the injustice of the whole situation, lost the trial, and was sentenced to a slow, miserable death in prison.
There are many things SpongeBob is ... short, stingy, funny, religious. But a drug dealer SpongeBob is not. Selling drugs takes a criminal intuition, self-discipline, personality, and at least a modicum of salesmanship. Because SpongeBob lacks every one of those qualities in spades, I tend to believe him when he tells me that he really wasn't a drug dealer. But so what if he was? What does it matter if he sold 350 keys instead of 3.5 grams? How is it justifiable to sentence a person to spend every day until they die in prison, at taxpayer expense, no less! Last I checked, people like you are paying $25,000 dollars a year (most recent figure) to make sure this petite man doesn't corrupt society with his highly-addictive wares.
The idiot Nazis back on B-Upper range were so concerned with Obama being some sort of Islamic terrorist sleeper agent. Man, did they have it wrong. It was fucking Reagan (or should I say Bin Reagan) whose War on Drugs turned the American justice system into nothing more than a glorified Sharia court. We're only one step away from taking Michael Phelps out in back of the nearest McDonald's and stoning him to death for getting photographed smoking pot. Might as well if we're going to allow decent men to be given a protracted death sentence for drugs which may or may not exist.
The new administration in Washington is going through the budget line by line to discover and eliminate the programs that don't work. Hey Obama, here's an idea! -- Go through the damn Federal sentencing procedures line by line to eliminate what doesn't work. Sentencing people to life in prison for drug offenses is not only unjust, it doesn't work!