Friday, January 12, 2024

Letters of Support

You may know someone who is facing criminal charges and possibly prison time, and feel a strong desire to write a letter of support for that person.  This happens to be a very useful activity and so I have been thinking of how one might approach such a task.  I spoke with my lawyer about it and have incorporated some of his suggestions into the following list.

I am presenting a list of topics in the hope that one of them appeals to you more strongly than the others because that will have a strong positive effect on the strength of your letter and how well it influences those who read it to align with love instead of fear, restitution instead of retribution, healing instead of vengeance, and a freer world rather than a more controlled one.

What effect did the person in question have on you?  Was it positive or negative?  It might be confronting, but even if it was negative, it may have improved your life or the lives of others.  Your readers are interested in improving the lives of everyone, or at least that is an assumption we should make, and a perception they strongly desire that we hold.  If your letter aligns with this global improvement idea, it will bring even the most horrible and authoritarian government people at least a little closer to that ideal.

Is this person currently having a positive effect on your life?  Do you feel that you need them for something?  What about the future?  Do you see their role in your life in the future as becoming stronger or weaker, and for a positive or a negative outcome?

Will keeping this person away from the public provide the public with some kind of benefit?  Will it take away some kind of benefit?  Supposing it does both add and remove benefits, what is the net effect?

How do you imagine the close connection between this person and the prison staff that will inevitably develop if he or she is imprisoned will affect the prison staff?  How will it affect this person?  What will be this person's effect on the other prisoners and their effect on this person?

What do you perceive is the level of honesty, kindness, generosity, knowledge, inspiration, and creativity of this person?  Do you imagine those levels will go up or down because of imprisonment?  How will this punishment help this person become a better version of themselves?

Do you imagine those levels will go up or down because of leniency?  How will leniency help this person become a better version of themselves?

Do you have examples of things this person has done that you believe they will not be able to do if they are imprisoned?  Are these things that will be missed or will people be happy that they have ceased?

What do we create and what do we destroy when we put this person in prison and what is the nature of those things?

How will the outcome of this person's case affect your perception of the justice system, the government, and the people running those institutions?  Will it depend on how the outcome is produced or simply on the outcome itself?  Are you open to having your views of this person and/or the government and the people running it altered by these proceedings?  How should they go to maintain an ever-improving world?

Thank you for pondering!

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