Fall of an Angel by Billy Leland
I love reviewing nonfiction books because there are no spoilers. Almost everyone that knows Billy, knows what happened to Billy. In this book, you will find out why. Billy has a lot to say regarding how law enforcement, lawyers, and the DA can use — and misuse — the guilty’s deposition to persecute and indict a person of “conspiracy.” Compared to the others the DA made deals with after being caught in the act, what made Billy’s case more critical? What crime did he commit than those who were caught in the act and ratted him out did not commit? Was he just a convenient scapegoat who was supposed to lead them to the demise of the Hell’s Angels and other biker clubs in Maine? Or, was he a political stepping stone for some members of the prosecution?
Don’t get me wrong; Billy accepts guilt for what he did wrong. However, nothing ever got proven by the State. In Billy’s case, there was no “smoking gun.” Billy never got caught with any drugs in his possession; there was never a urinalysis that proved Billy was a user, no hard evidence that he was a dealer. Just the testimony of people who were supposedly Billy’s friends and confidants. Most of that testimony is hearsay. He said, she said, which is not admissible!
I wish I had a dollar for everyone that said in their deposition words to the effect of, “Tony told me…” “Missy said…” “Billy was the biggest meth dealer on the East Coast.” Or, the prosecutor leads them in the direction they want them to go or say what he wants the Grand Jury to hear.
What’s more, he was kept in prison for nearly two years without a shred of evidence — denied bail because of his “risk of flight,” even though Maine has always been his home.
Billy and I were good friends in high school. We were on the swim team together and did some crazy shit. It is a time I will always remember. Lee and Shirley, and Billy’s brothers and sister were like family to me that one year we hung around together before joining the Army under the buddy system.
One thing I learned while reading the book, was that Billy and I both lived on Kellogg Street in Portland, ME. Though, we must have lived in Portland five or more years apart. I lived there when I was 12 or 13, and Billy must have been younger. Another coincidence about that is one of my best friends in Portland, was Paul, a 350-pound lobster fisherman who was a member of the Hell’s Angels. One of the kindest, most gentle people I ever met.
It seems I fought every single day I lived there. Munjoy Hill was a tough neighborhood, and although I was small, I never backed down. Billy and I participated in a few fights in high school too.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
The only way they even got a confession from Billy was to offer a ten-year sentence and a promise not to arrest his son on similar charges. How is that even legal? Shouldn’t everyone they have evidence of committing a crime get arrested and have their day in court. Evidently not, “guilty until proven innocent” seems more our injustice system’s mantra.
Most of those “friends” who made deals with the prosecution only did it to either get time off or “time served” for their sins didn’t even know Billy personally. Crimes they were caught red-handed committing, some were even sanctioned by law enforcement. How is it OK for law enforcement to allow someone to keep selling drugs, hurting people, selling their bodies, and entrapping others who might not even be a criminal if not for the State’s tampering.
“Conspiracy” the Catch-All
Conspiracy is the term the Federal government uses to put anyone they want in prison, with or without physical evidence. This book is an eye-opener for those who believe in the American “Justice” System. The DA got Billy to plead guilty and accept a 10-year sentence. Instead, he got a 21-year sentence and five years of probation.
You did know that the prosecution can use “hearsay” in a deposition (sworn, written and recorded testimony), particularly when the defense lawyer is not even present. When there is no defense lawyer present, the prosecution can use whatever “coaching” method they need to get the attestor to remember what the DA needs them to remember, true or false does not matter if it supports the State’s case. Who will object? Chances are your worthless lawyer is laughing all the way to the bank with your money and won’t have time to sit through hours of depositions. What can you do?
I’m not trying to rewrite Billy’s book because he did an excellent job of doing that. I am merely trying to convince you it is worth reading and you will enjoy it as I did.
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