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"Where I’m from, a felony is not freedom. Where I’m from, with housing loans, banking loans, it's all setting me up for failure in the future. Especially where I’m from I can end up dead or back in prison," said Donte Westmoreland to his prosecutor when asked why he wouldn't take the plea for a lesser sentence with the same, initial felony charge. Actually the prosecutor asked, "Why don't you want to go home?"
A felony conviction doesn't just affect employment, it can stop you from obtaining a passport or a driver's license, it can affect your child custody, your ability to adopt children, driving privileges, your right to own firearms, naturalization, college admissions, healthcare licenses, and a felony conviction can even stop you from renting and leasing.
After Donte explained why he would be taking no deals that included a felony charge, the prosecutor called back in15 minutes to say, “I never knew how a felony could affect black America," as the prosecutor announced Donte's case had just been dismissed.
Donte was pulled over in March 2017 for having dirt on his license plate, followed to the next gas station, and eventually found guilty when a witness said they intended to buy marijuana from Donte. He was sentenced to 8 years in Lansing Correctional Facility for less than a pound of marijuana.
Stay tuned as we release more of the story or click the link in bio to hear Donte tell his story himself.