Letters from jail

July 24, 2008
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If there’s ample evidence you wrote threatening letters to the president of the United States and chief justice of Canada, and you happened to include a white, powdery substance that could be mistaken for anthrax, then don’t try to appeal your convictions.

One inmate in the Westville Correctional Facility, Kerry Magers, decided while he was incarcerated to send these letters using his name and the correctional facility’s address.

He was convicted based on the evidence, but he appealed. His attorney smartly moved to withdraw because he thought any appeal would be frivolous.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the attorney’s motion today in USA v. Kerry Magers, finding all of Magers’ argument for appeal would be frivolous.

Kudos to Magers’ counsel for not attempting to file an appeal. I’ve read several opinions from the 7th Circuit in which the justices take attorneys to task for filing frivolous appeals.

Magers was found to be competent to stand trial, but there’s got to be something off about his way of thinking for him to send threatening letters stating, “enclosed is anthrax, Sincerely, Die,” and then to think that he could appeal his sentence when the evidence was overwhelming that he sent the letters.

Inmates have a lot of time on their hands, and they sometimes use it to write letters. Indiana Lawyer gets a few letters from inmates. Have you ever received a letter from an inmate and what’s the strangest letter you’ve received or heard about?
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