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My best friend’s promising future died the day she got involved with cocaine. When that horrible decision caught up with her, she was buried alive. Sentenced to 30 years and 4 months in 2007 as a first time nonviolent offender, her identity is now inmate #12118-017.

She was born Angela Chrishawna Wright and raised in a Christian home, excelled in school, and had a promising future until she started dating a man who sold cocaine. When he was arrested, Angela was indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine along with him.

By law, conspiracy holds one liable for all the drugs in the case regardless if your part is exceedingly small. It does not matter that Angela’s role was minor in the conspiracy, or that 8 out of her 11 co-conspirators had prior felony drug offenses some of whom Angela had never met. It comes down to the fact that Angela chose not to cooperate and proceed to trial. Her boyfriend only received 10 years as a repeat offender in exchange for his testimony against Angela. Out of her 11 co-conspirators who testified against her, she received three times the amount they received.

We are not making excuses for Angela’s misconduct, but we do believe that 30 years and 4 months is entirely too long for a first time offender. There are people convicted of violent crimes like rape or murder who receive far less time.

We desperately miss Angela and long for her return. Her only son who was just ten years old when she left is now twenty. She does her best to be a mom through 10 minute phone calls, short visits, and emails.

Angela has demonstrated good conduct in prison. She taught G.E.D classes for two years and had a 98% success rate in helping women obtain their G.E.D. She mentors younger women coming into the prison and encourages them to have hope. She has always been proactive in her rehabilitation — taking over 44 reentry and life skills classes; displaying a willingness to prepare herself for a productive and law abiding life after release from federal custody.

Given a second chance Angela will succeed. She is a college graduate and has a very strong support system consisting of her parents, siblings, and host of family, friends, and church.

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