Who Is Casey Rose? Part 5
Casey Goes Pro Se
First, I would like to make the statement that I am not a lawyer. I have had no legal education. I am a storyteller, and what follows is one hell of a story.
Along the way, I will be posting actual court documents and some educational videos to help define certain legal terms and concepts.
Let's begin with defining the plea bargain and its role in the judicial system.
We begin as Casey appears before the court during a motion hearing.
During this hearing, the testimony centers around Casey’s trouble with his second attorney on record, Mr. Anderson.
Casey recalls for the judge a time when Mr. Anderson came to visit him in jail.
Casey explains that he believes Mr. Anderson hasn’t been transparent regarding the plea agreement.
As you can see here, Casey didn’t want to go to trial initially. He wanted to take a plea bargain.
Mr. Anderson tells Casey not to worry about the quantities of drugs he will ultimately be convicted of possessing, he’ll argue quantities at the sentencing hearing.
10 days later, Mr. Anderson returns with the factual resume & plea bargain for Casey to sign.
Casey signs, and as Mr. Anderson is leaving, Casey asks, “what is it? 70 grams, 57 grams, how much?”
“6,900 grams,” Mr. Anderson replies.
If 5 grams carries 5 years, then what’s the sentence for 6900?
When Casey tells Mr. Anderson that he does not want to accept a plea agreement for quantities of that amount, he tells him it’s too late, that he will be re-indicted.
Mandatory Minimums at Work
What we’re looking at here is the power of mandatory minimums.
This is how your justice system is designed. To bend the defendant over a barrel, using their own life as a bargaining chip.
I often wonder how they would respond if the tables were turned.
The conversation turns, and now the topic at hand is Casey’s legal representation.
Full Panic Mode
The condescending tone the lawyers and the judge are using when they speak to Casey is apparent, even in the transcripts.
His own attorney, Mr. Anderson, says, “Mr. Rose is in what I like to refer to as full panic mode.”
The first time I read these transcripts, Casey was a stranger to me. I’d never spoken to him.
I thought, “Is this dude nuts?”
A pattern begins to emerge in Casey’s tone as well, he’s not afraid to stand up for himself.
During this hearing, the court takes the opportunity to serve Casey with what’s known as an upward departure.
The 851 Enhancement allows the government to super size felonies based off previous criminal history, giving them even more bargaining power.
Consequently, these kinds of enhancements, depending on what that history is, can mean life without parole.
“It’s him against the world, I’m his only help, and now he’s fighting his lawyer.”
Mr. Anderson tells the court that he, “does not have time to physically photocopy all of the evidence in this case…”
The prosecutor, Mr. Meitl, joins the conversation.
He says, “this is not a complicated case,” which I find interesting because Mr. Anderson says the exact opposite on the previous page.
Which is it?
The Line Blurs
Now we have the prosecution siding with the defense attorney.
I get it, but if I were Casey, I wouldn’t know who to trust.
This is a crucial moment to remember.
Rose: “Ma’am, I want to be clear, ma’am. I was just told that I’m getting an 851 motion filed on me, which is a mandatory life sentence.”
“I’m not going to win. If I’m not going to win, I want to be the one not to win.”
In Latin, it means, “for one's self.”
Casey lets us in on his frame of mind and motive behind representing himself.
He’s basically saying that he knows he’s going to lose and if that’s the case then, he couldn’t live with himself if he allowed a lawyer to lose his case.
The context of these next few lines is difficult for me to grasp.
I can’t tell if the judge is trying to discourage him or encourage him to represent himself.
In this same hearing, Casey is officially charged in a second indictment consisting of three additional new charges and the 851 enhancement.
Mr. Meitl, “What that means is, because Mr. Rose has been convicted of numerous drug crimes prior to the instant charge, at least two under the statute, that if he is convicted of the instant offense, Counts 1 and 2, he will be receiving a mandatory life sentence.”
“I have it in my head that I’m going to get a life sentence.”
It is amazing to me that we live in a country where you can be sentenced to prison for a crime, do your time, be released, and for the rest of your life you will pay infinitely.
It needs to be made very clear that the only reason Casey received a life sentence is that essentially, the federal government is making him pay for his previous crimes a second time.
The Judge Schools Casey
Judge Boyle explains to Casey that if he loses, and his case is filed in the appeals court, he will not be able to use the, “I had a shitty attorney,” excuse.
“You will be held to the same standard that a lawyer will be held to in trial as far as being required to know the Rules of Evidence and know the Rules of Procedure…,” Judge Boyle tells Casey.
“I don’t think I could live with myself if I let somebody else give me this life sentence….”
Against all advice given from the court, Casey is hell-bent on representing himself at trial.
Convinced that he will fail, he can’t live with himself if he doesn’t get to say what he wants to say.
Some people might call that stupid.
I call it heroic.
A Once In a Life Time Opportunity
It should be noted that this case provides you and me, the general public, with access to court proceedings that we would normally never have the opportunity to view.
Legally, when someone gets a life sentence, it is automatically appealed.
What this means is, that once the appeal is filed, its documents are now a matter of public record.
How often do we get to see the court proceedings of a Pro Se case?
I’ve searched and searched, I’ve yet to find another case like this one.
This is Only the Beginning…..
I can’t speak for everyone else but, this shit is absolutely fascinating to me.
This is your criminal justice system at work. These documents contain the answers to every question you’ve ever had about the criminal trial procedures on the federal level.
You and I will go through these documents together in upcoming posts.
Please, please, please, comment, ask questions. That’s the whole idea.
If you haven’t signed Casey’s petition, I’ll post the link below.