So, you think we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Think again.
his 45-year-old grandmother bought Sudafed to use in scuba-diving. Big mistake. She went to jail.
Hard to believe? Read this.
Before the sun set on July 29, 2010, Diane Avera was in the Marengo County Jail, where she would remain for forty days. At one point she was shackled to a restraint chair for 17 hours. During that time she was denied water or access to a bathroom. She also developed edema in her feet. Edema-related blood clots have been identified as the cause of death for several of the inmates who have perished while chained to the
Using the threat of kidnapping Avera’s grandchildren, Soronen extorted from the terrified woman a confession that she had knowingly purchased Sudafed for the purpose of manufacturing crystal methamphetamine. After more than a month in a government cage, Avera was released from jail on $51,000 bail.
Marengo County DA Greg Griggers offered Mrs. Avera his standard plea bargain: Five years of probation if she agreed not to defend herself in court. If she turned down that deal, however, Griggers promised, “I will send you to prison.”
If Avera had been a meth dealer, she almost certainly would have accepted Griggers’ offer. As an innocent woman whose unwitting violation of an obscure technical statute had injured nobody, Avera contested the charge.
During Avera’s three-day trial, Judge Eddie Hardaway gave Griggers generous latitude to make entirely unsubstantiated claims, among them that Diane had confessed that she and her daughter had been using meth for at least two years. He also insisted that Avera had somehow “diluted” drug tests she had undergone after being bailed out of jail – a charge that was refuted by the clinicians who had examined the samples.
Avera was found guilty of conspiracy to manufacture crystal meth and sentenced to a year in prison with an additional seven years of probation. . . .
“This has cleaned out my retirement savings, and [her husband] Keith’s as well,” Diane Avera told Pro Libertate. “We can’t get any answers as to when the appeal hearing will be held, because nobody in Marengo County seems interested in filing the paperwork. So right now, all we can do is wait with our lives on hold, and with this thing hanging over my head.”
Prior to her arrest in July 2010, Diane had no criminal record, and no history of drug abuse or addiction of any kind. . . .
During the five weeks she spent in Marengo County Jail, Diane was denied the rudimentary decencies of a human existence. Blankets and sheets were withheld from her, leaving her to freeze on a bare metal bunk. For an entire week, she and the other inmates were deprived of utensils and forced to eat with their fingers. Each inmate was given a single set of clothes.
These are only the highlights. To see what could happen to you, click the link.