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LESSON: Always remember that when standing up for yourself, your adversaries will frame your independence as nonconforming, selfish, and against the state. We must stay strong and understand the system will always try to demand our submission. 


The below lesson is an excerpt from my recently released Amazon #1 Best Seller, When Not If: A CEO's Guide to Overcoming Adversity, Forbes Books, 2024.


By searching my own name in the prison law library computers, an act that always brought me despair reliving each proceeding, I discovered United States v. Hemza Menade Lefsih, a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case. Lefsih was an Algerian immigrant taxi driver whose appeal not only contained the exact same variables as mine, to include an unruly judge and a defense attorney who never once objected and preserved the violations, but the same Fourth Circuit Appeals Court overturned Lefsih’s conviction and ordered a new, fair trial, by referencing my personal case as precedent 13 times in the Published Opinion and Order!


I hurried to prepare and submit a Motion to Recall the Mandate Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. #1651 All Writs Act based on this obvious contradiction. Even though nearly all recall the mandate motions are denied immediately, I was heartened, and even allowed myself to become optimistic, that the Fourth Circuit ordered the government to file a Response to my submission.


The doctrine of Horizontal Stare Decisis mandates a court, especially an Appeals Court, must adhere to its own prior decisions, unless it finds compelling reasons to overrule itself [Black’s Law, 9th Ed.].


I had laid out a clear and objective comparison of the exact same variables with which the court denied my new trial and, contrarily, granted Lefsih’s. It was black and white. AUSA Brian Samuels and USA Dana J. Boente submitted a seventeen-page response, which I always termed rinse and repeat, that instead of addressing the legal arguments repeated page after page of what a terrible, evil person I was and, most importantly, that I had never expressed regret and remorse.


In fact, I had consistently expressed deep regret for my long list of leadership failures which resulted in damage to so many people who deserved better. More importantly, I had repeatedly vowed to remedy my errors of judgment. This vow I take seriously. My goal is to do all in my power to make whole all those hurt by my leadership failures.


The problem remained that I refused to express remorse and regret for the underlying allegations against me. I believed then as I do now that the accused should be able to defend their belief in the truth without being penalized for advocating for themselves.


Despite my best efforts at crafting the legal argument, the Fourth Circuit denied the motion [United States v. Martinovich, 810 F.3d 232, 238 (4th Cir. 2016); United States v. Lefsih, No. 16-4345].


Lefsih was free and I was incarcerated staring down 14 years. I ran around the dirt track nightly raging to the universe, “How is this possible?!”


Have a great week!



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