We traveled to New York in September of 2014 to do a social biography video for man who had already plead, and was facing 10 years in prison. We were profoundly moved by how the single father took care of his ailing mother and sister, as well as always being the lending hand to friends and the community. His story reminded us again how there never is a sentence just for the “defendant”, but rather that all the time of incarceration is shared time. Indeed, though the sentencing guidelines read 10 years, the family said it very well could have been a death sentence for the mother, who has cancer and relies on her son for all assistance and care. Our video showed the home life, the deeply family oriented lifestyle of the individual, testimonies from family, friends, and therapists. They shared anecdotes while showing pictures, reliving moments, and while also showing how injurious a long sentence would be, articulated how they will be there to ensure a successful life at home if prison was taken off the table. And the best holiday call we received was on the last Friday of 2014 when his lawyer reached out, immediately after the sentencing hearing. A remarkable, and truly committed attorney, Stephen had submitted our social biography video along with a packet of other supporting material to probation and the court. He told us the amazing news he was given a short jail sentence — no prison time! He said he was certain the video was a major reason for the decision by the judge, as the court had referenced the impact of the video for his deliberation. We were honored to play a role in helping a family story be better understood by the court system. We build a unique bond with the families we do social bio vids for because the experience is so intimate — they are sharing what is most important about their lives and futures, with so much on the line. So though we recorded only for a few days, De-Bug/ACJP now has family forever in New York!
From Attorney Stephen Lewis of Stephens Baroni Reilly & Lewis in White Plains New York:
“I want to thank all at Silicon Valley De-Bug’s ACJP for the professional and effective social biographical video that I recently used in my case in the Southern District of New York. The client faced a guideline range of 91 to 120 months; the government recommended a guideline sentence, probation recommend four years and the Court imposed a sentence of six months incarceration that included 90 days of home detention. I have no doubt that the video that you produced played a determinative role in that outcome. The Court specifically referenced the video in it’s sentencing decision. Thanks for all the hard work.”