“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”Tweet
– Henry David Thoreau
The Power of Choice
Hey there gang what is up? Thanks for making a choice to arrive here at Green Miyagi Blog to be in this moment with Us. I can’t imagine this was the only option available to focus your attention towards in this moment, and the choice to be here implies you also had the power to have focused elsewhere instead. That being said I hope what I share provides value to your life, that it somehow broadens your understanding, or that at minimum does not make you later regret that you came here at all. But regardless of it all, wrong or right, you are free to leave if and when you so choose.
As the title of this post describes I am in my personal life making the choice to go to prison, and here I also have the power to have choosen otherwise. My deciding to complete a prison sentence potentially 20 years long in Texas begs the question:
What option did I decide against that was worse than being in a Texas prison potentially until I’m 60 years old?
The Powerlessness of My Voice
Turns out that I didn’t have the type of people in my criminal court environment who value a human defendant’s right. I more precisely mean to say that the humans I experienced within the system imposed their authoritative position of power in unjust and unconstitutional ways that restricted or deprived me any and all ‘rights’ to make a ‘choice’ that I decided/desired best, or ‘most right’. They presented the illusion of choice, verbally stated I had a right to choose, and then deprived me of the right to choose once I provided my choosen decision.
My choice by constitutional right, and what I rationally decided was to represent myself as opposed to an attorney choosen by the courts.
The 7/16/2020 Waiver to Right to Apply for Court Appointed Counsel came after many attempts by the Grayson County, Texas court administrator to have me fill out an indigency application and have the court provide counsel. After I waived my right and was resolved to represent myself as it was the best decision for my chances of being treated faily in my opinion (I have represented myself successfully in civil court in this same county before) I assumed the issue was over.
In the 3 months that followed I was called out of my pod a few more times to be asked if I had ‘changed my mind’ yet, and told things like ‘the judge doesn’t like when people represent themselves’. No I had not, but each time the tone of the communication from the county courts became more aggresive and felt quite thuggish to me. Also during my entire incareration period at Grayson County Jail I was denied open access to the legal recources the higher courts have mandated for inmates because the law library had been inaccessable due to covid. I walked into my arraignment as a pro se criminal defendant on October 22nd to be asked how I plead to the crime of Arson.
“How do you plea to the charge of Arson Mr. Sargent?”
“I plea guilty your Honor.”
“I’m going to enter a plea of Not Guilty for you Mr. Sargent.”
I could argue that I should have been charged with a lesser crime, or I could have tried to defend the actions that led me to this place, but I did neither. What I did was intentionally burn a vehicle titled in my name in a controlled burn in a rural area on our family property. I did not think it was criminal to do so, nobody was hurt or threatened, it was a fire that was controlled, and I had no intention of trying to benefit from it through an insurance claim or anything like that. It was just what I decided to do, and I didnt think much of it as my family had regularly burned all kinds of random items (including vehicles before and since lol) as trash throughout the time I was raised and have lived on the property. So what I did was walk in to the courtroom speaking for myself legally and gave an absolute honest plea, and stated my desire to be punished fairly and accordingly for the action I took that I know knew were criminal in Texas. I was fully accountable for my behavior, and I wanted to be sentenced so that once I put in the time the crime, and the criminal system altogether were behind me.
My Rights Wronged
After my plea wasn’t even allowed to be entered truthfully and actually as it happened I was provided another statment by the Honorable.
“We are not comfortable with you representing yourself Mr. Sargent.”
I was then informed that the matter would be delayed until I hired an attorney or completed an affidavit of indigency to be provided an attorney.
“I was being coerced out of my ‘rights’ again. Damn. Then I went back to my jail cell.”Tweet
In the meantime click the video below and set a reminder if before christmas. You will be viewing the realness.