Suppose you committed a crime, you were caught and, at trial, you pleaded guilty. You were then sentenced to serve a sixteen month prison sentence, which you did, and then you were released, having been rehabilitated.
This is what happened to a Philadelphia man who says that after his prison term, he has turned his life around. Demetrius Anderson is now facing yet another prison sentence because of a clerical mistake.
When U.S. Marshals arrived at his door to re-arrest him last week, Anderson says he was frightened and confused. After being taken into custody, he learned that authorities mistakenly freed him thirteen years ago and now want him back behind bars.
The charges are counterfeit and identity theft crimes that he committed 15-years ago, but because a detainer wasn’t issued by the court at that time, he was released after serving his original sentence.
Anderson says he thought that he was serving the two sentences concurrently, and now his lawyers are attempting to get to the bottom of it all. “It’s scary as hell,” he says. Anderson has rebuilt his life, now working two jobs, paying for an apartment, and he’s very involved in his church. He says the new incarceration would wipe him out.
It is a mystery of sorts as to why the belated arrest even happened to begin with. A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals says an audit found the mistake some thirteen years after his release.
A detainer was never issued for him to begin serving a second sentence, and so Anderson was free, or so he thought.
He says, “I couldn’t free myself,” adding that he stayed in the area and reported to a parole officer afterward. Anderson maintains that this is not the behavior of someone attempting to thwart justice.
What do you think? Should Anderson have to go back to prison after all these years because the government made a mistake?
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