My name is Danny Crawford. I grew up and went to school in El Dorado Springs. I’ve had my very fair share of problems with the law, drugs and the “prison system.” I’m currently in Federal prison in Greenville, IL.

I usually do not comment or have much of an opinion about other people’s legal problems that I read about in the paper. I pay yearly to get the paper sent to me here. However, today I got a lot of mixed feeling about the paper that I read when I saw the sentencing by our Criminal Justice system in the shooting death of my friend and “brother,” Brandon Keith. I got sentenced to 228 months in the feds for conspiracy to distribute meth and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug conspiracy. (Broken weapon in pieces, single shot .22 rifle). During my sentencing, local law enforcement showed up to “show support” to the feds and one sat with the prosecutor. My problem is NOT them showing support to their other officers. My big problem is how we as citizens (law-abiding and those who are not) can see that justice is served in cases where someone caught with drugs and a broken firearm receives one year less than someone who gets a 2nd degree murder charge.

I’m currently taking a “1st Step Act” class called Impact on Crime Victims here. It open up the eyes to seeing things from a victim’s point of view. I’ve sat here these last six years that I’ve been away staying out of trouble, staying sober, working at Unicor teaching sewing classes(We make ACU army coats for the military), to change my life and better myself for when I am released in 2031.

While I sit here bothered by how our system justifies a 2nd degree murder conviction getting 20 years while a drug offender gets 19 years. I’ve been on the other side of a gun conviction. I’ve been to prison for a shooting in 1998, where my victim testified for me in Cedar County Court House saying my shooting was an accident, when I still was convicted for assault and armed criminal action. So, I understand the bearing of these kind of crimes. I’ve lived it and I understand. As citizens when we elect our public figures into office, these are things we should take into consideration.

I am not blaming the Prosecutor’s office, law enforcement or anyone else. But all of the caseload is put on the systems elected officials. Our system is over loaded with cases that should normally not be taken to court. (I’ve got two such cases on my record.) We do not get enough money given to take the right cases to trial to make sure justice is served. It takes a lot of money to take a case to trial. So, all I ask is “was justice served?” Thank you.

Danny Crawford

Greenville, IL