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How do you write a character reference letter for a sentencing hearing?
found an example on line. Hope it helps Dear Judge Campbell: I have known Mr. Smith for 20 years through the church. Mr. Smith's lawyer has informed us that he has pled guilty to possession of an automatic weapon. I understand that this is against the law. I would ask that you please consider putting Ron on probation. He is not a criminal. He has always worked really hard throughout his life to help his friends and family. I believe that he will not violate the law again and that he has learned from this. Very truly yours, Steve Brown Answer: a different perspective The letter example above is okay, but do not follow it word for word or even by form. Okay, sorry, it's not so good. Write your own letter. Speak from your heart. Those who have been convicted are going to serve time or some sort; be that on probation, house arrest, modified sentencing, jail, or prison is entirely up to the judge. Too many glowing recommendations have a tendency--as I've observed--to push judges toward harsher sentencings. I think that might be due to the question that seems obvious: if the person being recommended is such a fine citizen/friend/family member, why did he break the law? And, then the guilty party gets made an example of. Do not tell the judge "He is not a criminal." If he was found guilty by the judge or a jury of his peers, then guilt is a foregone conclusion, no matter how innocent he might in reality be. If he is convicted, he is guilty, hence he is a criminal. Do not tell the judge, "He will not violate the law again," especially if you have just told the judge he is not a criminal. Do you see the contradiction? Besides, you don't know that. Do you want to be held responsible if he does break the law again. Do be supportive. Express what you hope to accomplish, how you hope to help the person. Let the judge know that the convict has someone in his corner. One of the biggest reasons for lengthy sentences is the lack of a support system that is directly linked to higher recidivism rates. And this last part might seem like bad advice, and might be difficult for some. Avoid references to church, Christianity, spiritual change, salvation, conversion, etc. Far too many convicted people have used Christianity as a sort of emergency exit strategy. It has worked in the past, but the success of such attempts is waining. Judges and parole boards are reacting harshly to those who publicly profess Christianity or some other form of religious faith, especially if they did not demonstrate it in their lives previous to the criminal infraction. Judges give harsher sentences and parole boards more readily give parole denials. If you mention it, do so very briefly and keep it in the context of how you know the person: i.e. "We have been members of the same Bible study group for XX years," or "We have been members of the same church for XX years."Do not give the person's testimony for him. Let him do that, and if you talk to him before he goes before the judge, tell him to let his demeanor and actions give his testimony. Again, and I can't stress this enough, speak from your heart. You are not going to successfully BS a judge (well, most judges). Likely as not your letter will have little affect on the sentencing outcome, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Trying to help won't hurt. That is provided you take suggestions well.
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The character letter to a sentencing judge should talk about how long you have known the person. You should also talk about why they are a good person.
A character letter for a courting hearing should include information about the person and how good of a person they are. You should also include in the letter how long you… have known the person.
Depends on who the parolee is and if he has proven himself trustworthy.
1. Know How To Address the JudgeIncorrectly addressing the Judge gives a very bad first impression. Before the Judge gets a chance to read all the great things you have to say… in your letter, he has already focused on the first negative. This could easily influence his attitude or mood while reading the rest of the letter. It is important that your letter not contain any information that can lead to negative impressions with the Judge. 2. Ensure the Formalities of the Letter are CorrectThe letter should contain your return address, the date and the correct salutation to the Judge. It should also refer to the name of the person you are writing the letter for either between the address and salutation or in the first sentence of the letter. 3. Not Too Short & Not Too LongYour letter should be between 1 and 3 pages long. Letters that are too short will suggest that you lacked anything worthwhile to say and will reflect badly on the person you are writing the letter for. Letters that are too long will loose the attention of the Judge and could come off as 'trying to hard' to influence or sway the decision of the Judge. 4. Identify Yourself & Your Relationship to the DefendentAt the beginning of your letter you should state your name, occupation and your relationship to the person you are writing the letter for. This establishes clearly in the mind of the Judge who you are and why you are qualified to write a character reference for the individual. 5. Do Not Diminish The Seriousness of the OffenceYou are not writing the letter to change the mind of the Judge. You are writing to give an identity and insight to the person being sentenced. In the letter it is important to recognize the seriousness of the offense, its impact on the victim and society. It is not your job to try to change the Judge's mind but provide information that may give him some understanding of the person being judged. 6. Double Check for Spelling & Grammer MistakesEstablish yourself as a reliable person qualified to write a character reference by ensuring that your letter is impeccably presented. Double check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and anything else that presents your letter as anything less than polished. 7. Quality Not QuantityRather than try to have Tom, Dick and Harry write a sentencing letter, choose a few close family members, a longtime friend or two, former boss(es), co workers, preachers and respected people in the community that know the defendent well. 8. Give the Person You Are Writing About An IdentityOne of the most important functions of your letter is to help the Judge see who your loved one, friend or colleague is beyond the crime. Include in your letter details about your long and positive relationship with the defendant showing him/her as a trustworthy and caring friend or family member.
To Whom It Concerns, I confirm that I have known John Dillon for the past fifteen years. I have always found John to be a loyal, trustworthy and reliable friend, generous in n…ature and extremely competent, hard-working and consienctous in anything he sets out to do. John is always willing to lend a hand if you should need assistance and punctual when meeting up. I am happy to provide further information if required. Yours Faithfully
It is a formal document and hence should be typed and written in a serious and business-like style. Introduce yourself in the first couple of lines and then provide authen…tic facts about the candidate and make list the skills and qualities. Finally, close your letter on a positive note. for more information visit http://www.letters-home.com/category/reference-letters/
It depends on the locality and what they want to know. Generally speaking, you should state how long you have known the person, that you know the person is of good character, …and, if required by the locality, that he has good reason to obtain the permit. For instance, the person owns a business or routinely carries large sums of money. That particular information may not be required depending on where you are. My personal recommendation also is, be sure the letter is properly formatted and grammatically correct for a business letter. No offense to you, because I know nothing about you, but if you send a letter in that looks like it was written by a 10 year old, which is much more common than people think, the permitting authority will probably disregard it.
The only difference between any other reference letter is the name of the Church. Then,one would outline the persons correct name , and any other relevant particulars, such a…s how long, the person have been affiliated with the organization and characteristic traits So.in closing depends on how well you have known the member then you might want to mention whether you would recommend this member to anyone., and sign your name along with your position.
tell the truth
Could be but not so important.
she has a strong character. I could tell from the boy's character that he was rude, mean and frankly, a bully! So that it will be easier to collect the harvest…, Margaret decided to hire some people to help her.
Try looking online for a template.
There is no common format, and if there were, your letter would be treated as a form letter. Your best solution is to type your own words in a standard business format. The fo…rmat is readily available as a template on most word processing programs. If you do not have one of the Microsoft programs or any other, download Open Office for free. In your letter, do not state anything that you cannot back up with evidence. For instance: Mikey didn't do it, your Honor. I know he didn't because he is a nice boy. Well, the penitentiary is full of nice boys. It would be better to do this (or similar): Your Honor, Mikey could not have possibly robbed that convenience store on Friday 8 July, because he was mowing my lawn on the other side of town at the exact time the store was being held up. I tried to give my statement to the police, but they threatened me with Impeding an Investigation charges if I tried to tell anyone. If you give specifics in your letter, be certain those specifics are undeniable, quantifiable truth. Finally, sign and date your letter and make a copy. When you send it, send it return receipt so you have proof of service. Who ever accepts the letter has to sign and date for it. Or refuse and you then have proof of attempt to serve. (This is just a term to help later if necessary). Finally, be honest, don't beg, but be real. The judge is human too. You have to appeal to that, but do it naturally. The character reference you give will help, but your friend needs evidence to corroborate his innocence and illustrate the miscarriage of justice that lead to his conviction. You'll notice in my second example above I speak to Mikey's character as well as his innocence.
In Criminal Law
To write character reference letter for a former inmate, point out their best qualities. Include their trustworthiness, capabilities, intelligence, and dedication to situa…tions.
In order to write a character reference letter for a DUI sentencing, one must be careful not to include any incriminating evidence against the person in question, and the form…at of the letter must follow that provided by the attorney.
To write a character letter for a friend to use at a parole hearing, you need to include certain important pieces of information, such as: Use a business letter f…ormat. State your full name in the first line. I am writing to you about (your friend's full name) State your relationship to the person - friend, sibling, ex-boss) State how long you have known this person How do you know the person (ex. We were neighbors for 10 years from 2006 to present. Or, Our wives are cousins.) State something about your friend's character. ex. He has always been a hard worker and responsible in his job. Or I have known him to go out of his way to be helpful to others. (It may be hard to come up with something nice to say.) You do NOT have to comment about his innocence or guilt or what he did wrong. ONLY comment if you KNOW something for sure, such as "He has told me how much he has learned from his 3 years of incarceration". Be HONEST. Do not tell any lies. It will sound fake and will not help. Ex. Don't say "He's friendly" when you know he is short-tempered. State clearly what you want the parole board to do, what you hope the board will do. State any ways that YOU, personally, can help if he is paroled. ex. I have agreed to give him a job for 20 to 30 hours per week in my auto-body shop. OR, If paroled, he will be living in my house. THANK them for reading your letter and considering your viewpoints. SIGN your full name. Include your address.