For Defendants Who Want To Show They Are More Than Their Criminal Charge–But Don’t Know How To Get Started

From The Desk of Justin Paperny, Author of Lessons From Prison & Ethics in Motion; Co-founder of and

March 2018

Dear Friend,

If you are under investigation, have pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial, this letter is for you.

To be more specific, this letter is for the person who wants to do more than talk about taking action. If you truly have interest:

  • In conveying to all stakeholders who you are,
  • Showing how you identify with your victims, and
  • What you’ve learned from this experience,

This letter will show how our sentencing program can help you now.

Why is this letter you are reading so important?

Because you’re going to see what judges want and expect from defendants. Although your defense attorney may not show much interest in listening to you–your judge wants to know who you are. To prove this point, watch the video below. You’ll hear Federal District Court Judge Steven Bough discuss his thoughts on sentencing.

If you’re are too busy to watch the video, I’ll summarize the most salient point:

Judge Bough stated that roughly 2% of what influences him comes from the lawyer.

Forgive me for repeating, but I think it bears repeating: 2% of what influences him comes from the lawyer. Why such a small percentage?

Judges know that lawyers are paid, advocates. The judge knows the lawyer will fight for the client’s liberty. But the judge wants to hear from the defendant directly.

Before You Buy or Schedule A Call, Let’s Be Brutally Honest:

This course is for defendants willing to embrace some discomfort. They must be willing to hold lawyer’s accountable. They cannot be timid or afraid of working to build a strong case that will lead to the lowest possible sentence, in the best possible environment. Despite massive amounts of evidence from Judges who tell us they want to hear from defendants directly, some lawyers are control freaks and want defendants to remain silent.

Despite Judge Bough making the strong case for why defendants should get their personal narrative into the presentence report, some lawyers object. Understand why they’re objecting, then overcome those objections.

If you’re afraid to ask your lawyer tough questions, this course won’t be worth anything more than words on a page for you.

This course is also not for the defendant looking for results without doing any work.


How Will Our Preparing For Sentencing Program Help Those Who Will Do Everything Possible to Prepare you For the Lowest Possible Sentence, in The Best Possible Environment?

When prosecutors bring a case against an individual, they focus their attention on the alleged misconduct. More than justice, prosecutors want convictions. They measure success with sanctions. They do not consider favorable characteristics of the individual. In reality, we’re all human beings. We all have histories with redeeming qualities. All of us are more than the crime we’ve been charged with committing.

Our sentencing program will help stakeholders understand your life story.

Who are these stakeholders?


Prosecutors score victories with convictions and long sentences. They highlight criminal charges and negative characteristics to build a persuasive case for a conviction and severe sanction.

Probation Officer:

A Probation Officer will craft a presentence-investigation report (PSR) that support the prosecutor’s version of events. Defendants sow seeds for a better outcome if they’re successful at influencing the outcome of the PSR.

Federal Judge:

In most instances, federal judges have experience as former prosecutors. Consider how those experiences may bias a judge’s opinion of the defendant.

Defense Attorney:

To argue for the lowest sentence, a defense attorney will rely upon the law and previously decided cases. Defendants can help their attorneys make a stronger case for mercy when they present compelling personal life stories.

Bureau of Prisons:

Staff members in the Bureau of Prisons that may or may not meet the defendant will rely upon the PSR and government’s version of events to make decisions that have an enormous influence on the defendant’s life. An effective personal narrative will influence the defendant’s journey long after the judge imposes sentence.

Now that we know the stakeholders take a moment to ponder how they must currently perceive you? Rather than focusing on your own problems, think about how those who have power will think about your alleged crime.

To help yourself, you must begin thinking of others and be answering tough questions, such as:

  • How do the people that investigated my crime view me and what can I do to influence them?
  • What does the prosecutor think of me as a human being?
  • What thoughts do my victims have about me?
  • How have my actions influenced the lives of others in our community?
  • What steps have I taken to reconcile with society?
  • What does the judge know about me?
  • How will the judge know what I’m capable of becoming?
  • How am I showing the judge that I’m more than my crime?
  • How strong of an argument have I made to show I’m worthy of mercy?

You may be thinking, “I agree, Justin, I must answer these questions and prove I am worthy of mercy, but I am totally overwhelmed and do not know where to start.

Shon, Michael and I understand your concern. The troubling reality is defendants frequently struggle to write effective personal narratives. They may be too caught up in the tragedy of being prosecuted. With so many others pulling the strings of their life, defendants find it difficult to articulate a compelling story that is worthy of mercy.

Too often, judges reject a defendant’s version of events because it is self-serving, offering excuses rather than explanations. All defendants want the lowest sentence. All defendants are going to miss their family and children. All defendants see themselves as good people.

Rather than address the obvious in your narrative–I want the lowest sentence, I did not have bad intent, I am a good person—your narrative must:

1. Identify with the victim’s loss and suffering.
2. Express influences that led to the acts in question.
3. Articulate true remorse.
4. Show what the defendant learned from this experience.
5. Show what steps the defendant is taking to reconcile and make things right. 6. Persuade the judge that defendant will never break the law again.
7. Prove that the defendant is worthy of mercy.
8. Articulate how drugs or alcohol contributed to the criminal conduct.

The result of a successful narrative includes:

  • Positioning the defendant for the lowest possible sentence, including entrance into the Residential Drug Abuse Program
  • Ensuring that the defendant serves the sentence in the best possible environment.
  • Assisting the defendant in getting to the halfway house at the soonest possible time.
  • Providing the highest levels of liberty on Supervised Release.
  • Positioning defendants for early termination of Supervised Release.

You have three options to write your narrative:

  1. You write it on your own. The process may take you hundreds of hours, and you may never know if you are on track, but it is an option.

2. You can hire our team to interview you and write your narrative. The investment begins at $5,000. Depending on a number of factors, the price could be higher. If you choose this option, please click the schedule call button to get started. From start to finish the narrative will be complete within three days.


3: You can invest in our sentencing program for $997 (we even have a two-month pay option). Inside our program, you will find six time tested templates on how to craft effective sentencing narratives. Private clients invested as much as $10,000 for the letters we include in this course. All you have to do is identify one, then build your narrative around it. As a bonus, we will include information on how to generate best in class character reference letters and our three calculators.


Michael Santos, Shon Hopwood and I know the challenges of preparing for prison. The process can bring confusion, complexities, and conflicting information. We also know our approach of taking action is not for everyone, and that is okay.

The question you have to ask is whether you truly want to prepare for the lowest possible sentence, in the best possible environment. If so, then our course is definitely for you.

We will let you decide and we will remain 100% transparent and honest the whole way: Only invest in this course if you are willing to invest the time to prepare and do it correctly. There is no magic button to push to erase your problems. You must begin taking clearly defined steps: if you have yet to be sentenced that first step should include creating your narrative.

Justin Paperny

P.S. As a bonus for investing in our course, we will include a 45-minute call to review your narrative and offer valuable insights to take it from good to great.

Subscribe Now For Free Weekly Lessons

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Sorry Course Is Full. Register Below To Learn When We Are Reopening

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Sorry Course Is Full. Register Below To Learn When We Are Reopening

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Success After Prison

For a limited time grab your free copy of Success After Prison

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Success After Prison

For a limited time grab your free copy of Success After Prison, containing strategies and breakthroughs to ensure you are productive and successful in prison and after your release.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Success After Prison

For a limited time grab your free copy of Success After Prison

You have Successfully Subscribed!