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The Champion

July 2007 , Page 12 

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Substantial Assistance The Key To Freedom

By Mark P. Rankin, Rachel R. May

Representing a Cooperating Defendant in Federal Court 

Your new client, Danny, has been charged with what is, in the eyes of the Justice Department and Congress, one of the most heinous of crimes, for which he faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. Terrorism? Nope. Carjacking? Nah. Murder?! Not quite. He’s been charged with selling 5 kilograms of powder cocaine to an undercover DEA agent. Where normally he would face a minimum 10-year stay in federal prison, a prior felony drug conviction (for which he served probation) doubles that — and since he had an unloaded gun in his pocket at the time, he faces 5 years of consecutive time.1 Danny, a 22-year-old kid who has never spent so much as a day in county jail, now faces the prospect of tasting freedom again when he is his father’s age. He is petrified and desperate.

As always, you have explored every avenue of defense. Unfortunately, the drug sale is on crystal-clear videotape — as is Danny’s voluntar

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