Thursday, September 25, 2008
Did Susan LeFevre Get More Leniency Than Linda Darby?
Reader: Legal Pub, How does this system of so called justice that you support treat parties so differently. Compare Susan LeFevre who gets probation to Linda Darby (LEGAL PUB LINK) who goes back to prison.
Legal Pub: Let's look at these stories in a bit of detail. Your original premise shows that you are some what misinformed. Darby was convicted of murder. She escaped from prison. While out of prison, she conducted herself admirably. Nevertheless, she was convicted of murder. She was returned to prison and while her original case is being "looked into" she remains incarcerated.
Susan LeFevre is a California woman who escaped from a Michigan prison 32 years ago. While on the lam, she existed as a San Diego suburban mother of three, known as Marie Walsh. After her recent capture she was sentenced to probation. Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner felt it significant that LeFevre had already served 14 months in prison on a drug conviction at the time of her escape. Longtime Fugitive Sentenced Critics argue that LeFevre had to serve 5 1/2 years in prison to be elgible for parol with her original sentence and that sentence should be extended because of the escape. However, the judge exclaimed that, "The court finds no reason to give you extra time," said Groner. Judge Groner then ordered two years of probation for the escape. To her credit, LeFevre, 53, acknowledged it was wrong for her to have escaped. But to educate you a little further, LeFevre is still in jail! Her attorneys still need to get her original 10-year sentence for heroin thrown out in Saginaw County Circuit Court.
The original sentence for LeFevre seemed very harsh for a recreational user. LeFevre was arrested when a friend attempted to sell a small amount of heroin to an undercover agent. When she was just 19, she was arrested on a heroin charge. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in 1974. In 1976 she scaled a prison fence and with the help of her grandfather, she escaped. Her first chance at parole comes after 5 1/2 years in prison, unless her original sentence is overturned. Assistant prosecutor Robert Donaldson argued that living all this time under an alias is "fraud." True, but 10 years in prison for a 19 year old who made a mistake is not right either. Judge Groner's decision not to add to her sentence is the first step in correcting an injustice. Hopefully the courts will reduce her original sentence because, she "has three kids who really need her."