Family Legal Crisis

Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Aug 14, 2018

On Saturday, our son will have been in jail for three months.

CONVICTED OF ABSOLUTELY NOTHING; in real physical and psychological danger; and with no evidence pointing to his guilt.

There is something horribly wrong with this picture.

We are hoping for a resolution sooner than later but we can't count on that. We're relying on a "justice system" that runs as slow as molasses and seems to have no commitment to speedy trials (the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).

In this country of ours we house convicted men and women side by side with accused men and women awaiting trial.

And no one -- whether convicted or accused -- deserves to be awakened from a restless sleep at 5:30 in the morning in a dimly lit cell with only a cloudy narrow window offering a trace of natural light.

No one -- convicted or accused -- deserves half a banana, a piece of white bread, a tasteless egg and powdered milk slipped through a slot in a metal door.

No one -- convicted or accused -- deserves lunch at 10:30 a.m. Two slices of white bread with two slices of some sort of barely recognizable cold cuts and a salad or vegetable (when they come) with bugs or mold.

No one -- convicted or accused -- deserves dinner at 4 that sounds pretty much the same as lunch.

Our son doesn't deserve to be denied multi-vitamins unless he can explain to some jail doctor why he needs them, or to be asked what medicines he was on before jail so that they can be continued -- with no effort made to figure out what's needed now.

In the words of the ACLU:

"Far too many prisoners are held in conditions that threaten their health, safety, and human dignity on a daily basis. ... The devastating effects of such treatment, particularly on people with mental illness, are well known. Prisoners are a population with significant medical and mental health needs, but prisoner health care services are often abysmal."

Then there's the practical stuff ...

We've plowed through the retainer -- and then some. Now we're looking at the possibility of a trial at the end of October and flights out and back, lost wages for the time we're out there, etc.

Your generosity continues and we're blessed by that.

We just want to let all of our supporters know what we're facing, what the past few weeks have been like and some of our thoughts as we go through all of this.

With love and thanks,

Diane and Debbie

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Aug 03, 2018

From Diane

On Tuesday the arraignment went as expected and a trial was set for Oct. 31-Nov. 1, with a pre-trial hearing in early October. Way too far off, but there is an end in sight.

And, with any luck, this will be resolved before then.

For now, we have our reservations in place for the last week of October.

We want to acknowledge some off-line contributions we’ve received in the past few weeks. Unfortunately GoGetFunding makes updates a little tricky. Thank you! All of your generosity and loving support is staggering.

At this point we’ve already spent about half of a sizable retainer (we’ve been advised by counsel not to specifically address that amount) and, if this case goes to trial, we’re surely going to need more. We’ll deal with that when the time comes, but for now we’re thankful for what we have.

We’re able to envision actually getting through all of this and emerging from the other side worn, weary, but not defeated.

Diane

From Debbie

July 31... A trial date has been set for the end of October.

The judge was ready to schedule a December date but thankfully our son's lawyer was able to push for an earlier one.

There will be a pretrial hearing the beginning of October and once again we are hoping that the case will be dropped.

The justice system moves very slowly. When you are sitting in jail with hours and hours ahead of you it moves even slower.

I am so greatfull to hear our son's voice...it calms me and for awhile I know he is alright.

We have our flight booked for the last week in October. Until then, we write letters, cherish our phone calls and feel incredibly lucky and blessed to be held and supported by you all. Thank you.

Debbie




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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 31, 2018

Whoever heard that you can receive too many books, or too much written material in one envelope?

This is something our son has been told. Yes, he will get the books and also the mail, but not without first letting him know that he isn't in control of receiving what is his.

Tomorrow, 3:30 our time, our son will be arraigned after being held since May and will plead not guilty. This is the first time he will be given the opportunity to plead.

We don't know exactly what else might happen tomorrow.

Please continue to surround our boy with your prayers, love and positive energy.

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 29, 2018

Today we stacked wood in preparation for another long, cold Northeast winter, but our son is never very far from our minds even though he's pretty far from Woodstock.

We thought maybe a break was in order today seeing as last night was full of disturbing dreams for me.

We actually haven't done badly so far. Stacking wood is hard work.

Diane

(Please share our posts. )

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 22, 2018

Some days, I wake up and have hope, other days I wake in a panic.....

Today was a panic day.

What's going to happen?... I need to ask the lawyer what his strategy is ... And about his plans for talking to the jury..... I need to tell the lawyer that his words must be clear and strong enough so the jury will see the truth and then we can bring our son home.....

Then I remember this trial is months away. I must be present. I need to be hopeful; ask questions; write cards and be grateful to talk with our son.

I will try not to think about the food he is given to eat, the times when he calls and then a minute later he is ordered to hang up.

I will try to forget that the lights are never really turned off for sleep....

I know that if love could fix things

this nightmare would have been over months ago.

Thank you for listening and for your love and generosity in all the ways it comes.

Debbie

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 21, 2018

Hello friends and followers,

We're experiencing a frustrating problem with this new GoGetFunding site.

We had wanted to include the donations we'd raised offline, along with donations raised through the old GoFundMe page, on a section of this new site where it indicates you can add those sorts of numbers. Initially it worked, but when we tried to update it tonight, it didn't work at all.

So, the total we have raised through offline donations and GoFundMe amounts to about $21,000. That is amazing!! Truly incredible.

That money will cover the lawyer's retainer and our travel expenses ... and should get us started on paying for the next phase, which appears likely to be trial and trial-prep.

We are hanging in there. It's made possible by all of you.

Lots of love,

Debbie and Diane

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 16, 2018

It's been a very long and anxiety-filled day. Thank you for all of your prayers and support and hope.

Today was not the day we had hoped for. Our son's case was not dismissed. We will continue forward one step at a time.

Please keep us in your hearts and prayers, especially our son.

Debbie and Diane

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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 16, 2018

A mental health issue spirals out of control ,,,

On Mother's Day weekend we began a journey triggered by an intense mental health emergency which spiraled into a serious legal crisis.


We all have expectations and dreams for our children, no matter how big or small, but we never really do know what course life will take. So, what happens when a family finds itself in need of mental health services and legal help for a child that are beyond their means?

Well, we called every friend, family member, co-worker and our minister to ask for help — and the immediate outpouring of love and generosity was overwhelming.


People we know and some we don't, have been extremely generous. We thank each and every one of you. In only a matter of days so many came to our aid and we were able to give our son's lawyer a $9,000 retainer! And — with only a handshake — he agreed to allow us to gradually pay the rest of his initial fee, $2,000 a month for the next three months.

Still, our expenses — many of which are charged to credit cards — mount.

In the past month we have spent more than $3,000 on transportation and housing (and we must make another trip out West in early July which will cost about $1,300 more — future trips there appear inevitable). Legal fees seem likely to eventually exceed the $15,000 retainer.


Where's the money coming from? We don't know. We are trusting in the enormous web of life and we have no choice but to take a leap of faith, hoping that there is even more support out there and trusting that others like you will help us get through this crisis.

With the help of our beloved friends and family, we will continue to provide for our son during what looks to be a terribly long and expensive process.


The road our family is traveling has been nightmarish, but it’s also been a profound learning experience for all of us.

We sincerely ask you for support in whatever ways you’re able and thank you for what you have already done.

Debbie and Diane



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Update posted by Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker On Jul 16, 2018

For those of you coming to this campaign a little late, here's the first post we put up on another site ...

A mental health issue spirals out of control ,,,

On Mother's Day weekend we began a journey triggered by a family emergency which spiraled into a legal crisis.


We all have expectations and dreams for our children, no matter how big or small, but we never really do know what course life will take. So, what happens when a family finds itself in need of legal help for a child that is beyond their means?

Well, we called every friend, family member, co-worker and our minister to ask for help — and the immediate outpouring of love and generosity was overwhelming.


People we know and some we don't, have been extremely generous. We thank each and every one of you. In only a matter of days so many came to our aid and we were able to give our son's lawyer a very significant retainer. And, with a handshake, he agreed to allow us to pay the remainder of his initial fee over the next three months.

Still, our expenses — many of which are charged to credit cards — mount.

In the past month we have spent more than $3,000 on transportation and housing (and we must make another trip out West in early July which will cost thousands more — future trips there appear inevitable). Legal fees seem likely to eventually exceed the enormous retainer.

Where's the money coming from? We don't know. We are trusting in the web of life and we have no choice but to take a leap of faith, hoping that there is even more support out there and trusting that others like you will help us get through this crisis.

With the help of our beloved friends and family, we will continue to provide for our son during what looks to be a terribly long and expensive process.

The road we are traveling has been nightmarish, but it’s also been a profound learning experience for all of us.

We sincerely ask you for support in whatever ways you’re able and thank you for what you have already done.

Debbie and Diane



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Anonymous

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Camryn Anderson

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with love to two of my favorite gladiator mommas

Sheilah Davidson

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Thomas Hackett

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Anonymous

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Keeping you close to my heart and hoping to hear good news soon.

Kathleen DeMatteo

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Thomas Zucker-Scharff

Backed with $50.00 On Jul 16, 2018

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Diane and Debbie Pineiro Zucker

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