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Court Stories As Jail Sentence After Year of Home Confinement Leads to Dash Out the Door

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

LITERARY SDNY, June 5 – Lamin Jallow was on home detention at his grandmother's house in the projects in The Bronx when he met her.

  She delivered food one night, DoorDash or Uber Eats, he couldn't remember which one. It was the end of her shift and she took him up on his offer to sit down and watch a DVD, and get high. That's what he was awaiting trial on, that and the gun found his backpack. 

   But now he had a reason to go straight, or at least tell his old Irish lawyer that he would. "Tell Judge Morales I mean it, I was different then, just barely here from Gambia."  

  The lawyer started ask if it isn't called "The" Gambia, but Lamin Jallow pushed forward. "Tell him I'm gonna get my G.E.D., that I need a new chance with my girl."

 If he went to jail, and not just locked up here in this apartment in the projects, what would happen with them? Would she be dashing to another door? 

   Finally the day of sentencing came, after he pleaded guilty with the idea he'd get time served. He'd been locked up and home for a year and a half. Wasn't that enough?  

   The courtroom was big and the air conditioning was blasting. His girlfriend was in the gallery, and some guy in the back with a note pad. His lawyer made the pitch, and took the blame for the delay in the case.

    Judge Morales nodded but did not seem convinced. "You know that doesn't count as time in detention," he said. 

    "I'm only telling you about it for the context," the lawyer said. "Under the 3553(a) factors."  

Jude Morales nodded. "Mister Jallow, please rise. It is the judgment of this court that you be remanded to the custody of the US Bureau of Prisons for a term of three hundred and sixty six days, to be followed by three years of supervised release." 

 His girlfriend was whispering, what does it mean? Jallow kept waiting for Judge Morales to say that all or most of the sentence could be served in a halfway house like the one on Fulton Avenue. But he never said it. He set a day for self surrender, in sixty days. 

  And by then, she had left him, dashing out the door. In anger he committed another crime, and a year and a day became a terms of years, unending....  


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