1) my inability to find my own syntax errors
2) I can't always find a qualified second reader on short notice
3) What revision advise would you give me?
Draft Review Questions:
1. What advise would you give me?
2. Given the composition issues in this draft - what aspects of letter writing can you find holding true in the version I have below?
Greetings Judge Xxxxx:
We apologize for the lateness of this letter; we were only made aware of X 's August 10, 2012 sentencing date this past Monday. We write to share some pertinent information as you decide his sentencing. The following point-of-view and information is not an ask for leniency but an ask for consideration of alternative avenues for a young man who has had more limited choices than limitless ones. A prison only choice, at this time in his life, would write X’s life story another version of Etheridge Knight’s poem For Freckled-Faced Gerald.
We are quite sure you have already considered that this (as we understand and are a bit surprised) is his first offense and was committed in the company of an older more criminally seasoned adult. However, have you considered that X has not had many positive alternatives introduced to him during his17-years of his life. His oldest brother had a few more positive alternatives provided by their grandmother. Circumstance allowed my husband and I to assist his second oldest brother a bit more than we could have helped him. Both these brothers are currently employed (one has his GED, one has his high school diploma).
However, circumstance, time, and his parents’ decisions made X's alternatives bleaker than his siblings. The most resent negative alternative visited upon him was his mother’s use of his learning and psychological evaluation to qualify him for SSI benefits instead of follow-up treatment and educational programming that would allow him an opportunity to graduate high school. Over the past year, she has consistently usurped his SSI benefits, providing some fodder for his recent life choices.
One of X’s last encounters with his father, found his father dressed as a woman in an attempt to elude police. Unlike his four other siblings (each of whom have a different biological father), X’s father has never been a positive or consistent part of his life.
If or when you talk to X one-to-one, you may find it surprising that his ability to take ownership for his actions and acceptance that some portion of his life must be given for repayment clear. The biggest point of disagreement you may find won’t be about how much of his life should be given but about where that portion of his life should be lived while he fulfills his sentencing.
You are sentencing X on Friday, August 10, 2012. As you decide on his sentencing, please consider the applicability of prison alternatives that can both serve the purposes of fulfilling his debt for his offense and provide him with alternatives that may empower him to positively change circumstances of his life.
Thank you for your time.
Mursalata Muhammad & Wil Smith
X's aunt & uncle
Email: XXXXX Cell: XX.XXX.XXXX