My name is Jamil Pirant. I’m calling from IDC, Indiana Department of Corrections, and the name of this title is “Guilty Plea.”
I was wrote – a letter was sent to me from somebody who I guess caught wind of, you know, a lot of the Prison Radio commentary, and they asked me, “So why did you plead guilty?” So, instead of writing back, I just thought that was a good question. So I just, you know, explain it here.
Well, when I was locked up and I was waived to adult court, I never had an attorney visit. I never spoke to my lawyer once. I never had my state’s discovery. I never had nothing. Only thing I had was – and I was the last one to get locked up onto my case – only thing I had was everything that was labeled for me. And that was just my court dates, going to court. And I had a lawyer who was swapping me out, who was a paid lawyer. So when I got in court and I seen that I had no support, I knew what was gon’ happen. I decided to, okay, for one, see what I got, see what they got to offer. ‘Cause I know going to trial what’s gon’ be a hangman. I’m 17 years old at the time, but I also knew that I was getting played and railroaded. So I had to make the proper time to make a stand.
So they offered me a plea of 45 years, only if I give them a version of events. Now here’s the kicker: my version of events was different than everybody else. I never identified no co-defendants. I never identified nobody. I couldn’t identify nobody. I gave a whole different version of events than everybody else, and they knew I was lying. They knew I knew nothing about the case. The details. That’s on record. That’s proof. And then, my mother and my family sent a letter to the judge, which is on record, it’s on a case chronological summary. And we let the judge know the lawyer’s been lying about evidence. And the plea is not wanted – this before the plea was ever accepted.
So the lawyer took it upon his self to still call me down to court at my co-defendant trial. And that’s why I stood up for myself. I told the judge, “Your Honor, I don’t not ‘posed to be here. My lawyer’s been fired. I never wanted him. I don’t know what’s going on.” The judge asked me, “Why’d you plead guilty?” I said, “I was threatened. I was confused. I was scared by my lawyer.” I told him this on the record. So the judge gave us some time for the lawyers to go and talk about what they need to talk about. The lawyer also came back to court and said, “As of right now, Your Honor, I quit. I don’t want to represent him no more.” So then, he still went back on the reset and came back with a 45-year deal. So the 45 years that I’m doing time on is a 45-year plea that the lawyer negotiated on my behalf after he quit and after I told the judge he was fired. So I’m down here on a plea that I never agreed to. ‘Cause the first plea, honestly, was broken when I – when they knew that I was lying and when I refused to testify.
So once again, I’m down here on a guilty plea that I never agreed to. I’m down here on a void guilty plea. I’m down here on a void sentence, period. And I challenge anybody to look into that. ‘Cause if the plea said for me to testify, why am I down here on that same plea when I didn’t testify? So if the plea was broken, who made the new plea? And who agreed to that? The judge never addressed me and said, “Pirant, are you cool with that? Do you want this plea?” When I objected to it, the judge said this in open court, he said, “Pirant, you think it’s a game?” In fact, I said, “My mama been fired him.” He told me in open court, he said, “How can your mother fire him? Only you got that authority.” I’m thinking, like, I’m 17 years old, I can’t even sign a contract in the state of Indiana. My mother hired him when I was 16. So my mother hired him, she could fire him. This is all on record, the stuff that they was never giving to me before.
So now that we have these things, it’s something that we can go forward with and fight. I’m just excited because we got it now and it’s on record. It’s black-and-white. So to the young woman who asked me why did I plead guilty, I’m gonna say, I didn’t. I never did. So I appreciate you for asking me the question and hopefully that, that answered it. Thank y’all.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.