CAN-DO created a video of Craig’s daughter, Lauren talking about her dad, what a wonderful father he is, and why he should get clemency.
Craig Cesal is serving Life for Pot!
Case Summary: I owned a semi-truck towing and repair company near Chicago. I specialized in the repair of damaged refrigerated semi-trailers, as well as semi-tractors. I ran a body shop. When semis are used to smuggle from Mexico and beyond, drugs are secreted in the structure of the trailer. Once in the U.S., the inside of the trailer is torn apart, the contraband removed. Several leasing companies, as well as many trucking companies hired my company to retrieve and rebuild the rented trailers, and to return them to the rental fleet. When I went to retrieve a semi left in Georgia, I was arrested pursuant to a warrant. They said that I had joined into the marijuana conspiracy that the driver of the truck was in. And, that I had joined in the “conspiracy” of many, many, other trucks 23 years worth. I admitted that I retrieved and repaired trucks involved in smuggling and other acts, but denied my involvement in any marijuana conspiracy. According to Georgia authorities, I had joined the crime after it was complete. I still argue this. Since I retrieved many of the semis from law enforcement, they often requested me to help them catch drivers, I refused. Here I am.
Why Commutation should be granted: My offense conduct is limited to the repair of trucks damaged when marijuana had been smuggled within the structure of the truck, I never bought, sold, used, aided and abetted, nor participated in any marijuana activity; I only provided repair support for truck drivers who did so. If sentenced today I would reap the benefit of the BOOKER ruling, which would allow the Judge to sentence me to less than a LIFE TERM which was mandatory when I was sentenced. All my co-defendants are free and have been for over 4 years. Jurisprudence subsequent to my conviction has determined my conduct since it does not include a prospective agreement regarding marijuana activity is not criminal. Relevant courts have determined my guilty plea precludes relief in light of the new laws.
Education: Montini Catholic High School, Class of 1977; Illinois State University, Class of 1981. In prison, I completed a correspondence course in professional writing and a paralegal course which qualifies me as a legal assistant/paralegal.
Re-Entry plans: If released, my daughter has invited me to stay at her three bedroom home where she lives alone with her husband. I have an offer to work for a State Farm Insurance Agency. Many people from my high school class, Montini ’77, are in touch via email and have offered assistance in reentry. SUPPORTERS for Craig Cesal, Serving Life for Pot: • CAN-DO Clemency – Life for Pot, ACLU, Freedom Grow Craig was on the Clemency and Justice Reform Radiothon and due to the prison phone time limitation, was not able to finish, so here is the rest of the story: “The average sentence served in America for murder is 12.3 years….I have already served over 14 years and my daughter still awaits me.” Craig Cesal