September 24, 2011

Honorable District Court Judge Scott County Courts 600 W. 4th Street Davenport, IA 52802 Dear Honorable District Court Judge: This letter is what I hope to be one of many that you receive in support of my nephew, James Thomas, Jr. It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, as I am troubled by the bleak circumstance that James now faces due to the senseless choices he has made. First and foremost your Honor, I will not extol on the misfortunes and obstacles that have negatively impacted James’ short time on this earth, since we have all faced roadblocks that threaten life’s journey one way or another. Unfortunately, my nephew chose the wrong path and made choices detrimental to not only his future, but the future of his infant daughter as well. I have recognized long ago the intellectual and creative side of James, and have tried to nurture those talents from within. As an education consultant with the State of Iowa, it is my job to ensure that all children have access to our exceptional educational system; however, I fear that I have failed in that aspect when it comes to serving as an educational advocate for my own family. I am sure that my family tires easily as I lecture often that education is a way up and THE way out of poverty and addiction, of which we are all historically accustomed to as a family. Your Honor, I cannot convince you to ignore the alleged offenses that have brought my nephew before you in court; but I do ask that you consider the fact that James has a strong support system within our family structure. He has completed his GED and has the desire to continue his education (which will only serve to keep him out of courtroom and in the classroom). As a civil servant, it is my duty and obligation to be an advocate for James and equip him with the necessary tools and resources to transform this young man into a contributing member of society that we can all be proud of. An extended jail or prison sentence, versus rehabilitation and supportive social services, will mean the difference between failure and survival for my nephew. James is a non-violent offender, which I sincerely hope the court will also consider when imposing a sentence. It is with heartfelt sincerity and love for my nephew that I implore this Honorable Court to consider a lesser sentence with an emphasis on rehabilitation and education. Thank you for your time and consideration. Respectfully,

Jeanette Thomas

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