April Update 2017

Connections Update
April 2017

Hello Everybody,

Its spring already YEA11 1 Can’t wait for summer though. I have GREAT news to share. I went to my yearly Doc visit and it appears I am doing very well in all areas and remain at level 0 with my leukemia. WOO HOO…The natural way seems to work best for me. I still have to take some pharmaceuticals due to my diabetes but those doses are starting to come down as well and it could be soon I won’t need those medicines either. Our God is an awesome God and he does hear our prayers. Thank all of you so much for your prayers and support through all of this medical turmoil. I really do appreciate all of the love you have shown me these last few years especially.
I have Sandy working with me in the office and we are trying to get caught up. We have a full plate doing Hep C presentations across the state so that has required us to be out of the office for these past two months. We have a couple of free weeks now before we go back out so hopefully we can get some mail out and catch up on some office business. Sandy will be going to the HIV and Hep C testing classes to be certified to help me test across the state. I look forward to her much needed help.
OK on to business. Finally the committees have been posting their minutes so I can make those available to you on your order form. I am hearing from some of you that it is business as usual with the parole board and that they are not making the changes the new laws asked for in the last session. I must say this does not surprise me at all. I have also heard that the system in general have been giving the media stories about all the changes they are making. When you write me this kind of declaration I need you to tell me which newspaper you read the story in or what channel of the news you heard the story. That way I can go and get it online and then follow through accordingly. As we all know this shouldn’t be happening but its quite normal for the powers that be to do exactly what they are doing. They have been misbehaving for years and change is hard and sometimes takes years to accomplish, we know this because of our own lives behind we see first hand what’s really going on…RIGHT! We are strong though and will not give up on things that are important to us, so stay strong and bear with us as we keep up the good fight.
Now for some Fed news: The Supreme Court ruled on April 18, 2016, in Welch v. United States, No. 15-6418, that the decision in Johnson v. United States limiting the reach of the Armed Career Criminal Act is retroactive. This means that some prisoners, serving 15-year mandatory minimum sentences, may be eligible for a reduction of their 15-year sentence to a maximum sentence of ten years. Johnson, a case decided last term by the Supreme Court, limited the kinds of prior crimes of violence that can be used to trigger the Armed Career Criminal Act’s (ACCA) 15-year mandatory minimum imposed on felons convicted of possessing a weapon. Johnson retained certain prior crimes of violence, but struck the so-called “residual clause” as unconstitutionally vague. Since the Johnson decision on June 26, 2015, persons convicted of being felons in possession of a firearm cannot be sentenced to more than ten years unless their priors are specifically identified in the other parts of ACCA. The question in Welch was whether Johnson is retroactive. If retroactive, prisoners who were convicted under ACCA based on one or more residual clause priors can seek to have their 15-year sentence vacated. On April 18, the Court said yes. The Welch decision turned on the complex rules about when prisoners whose cases are closed can benefit from changes to criminal laws made by the Supreme Court. In Welch, the Supreme Court said that the Johnson decision was retroactive because it removed the legal grounds for the 15-year sentence by removing some of the priors that were used to trigger that sentence. If you or a loved one believe you might be affected by the Welch decision due to an ACCA conviction that was secured by one or more prior crimes of violence that may have been struck down by Johnson, get in touch with your lawyer and/or the Federal Public Defender in the district in which you were sentenced. There are strict time limits that apply.
In closing I want to thank all of our Advisory Board members for getting the word out and helping us help all of you. As always we are looking for members who are committed to the cause and willing to spread the word. Let me know if you are interested in becoming an Advisory Board member. Many Blessing to all of you hope you can enjoy the beautiful weather.


Connections Box 4142 Bozeman, MT. 59772 406-813-8209 or 406-451-9995