Appealing Outcome

Inmate finally wins his own freedom after six-year legal fight

Taradash tells New Times, "Although criminal-defense attorneys work very hard on behalf of their clients, mistakes may happen." He says the appellate court's ruling in Donald's favor was a good one, in that it has made defense attorneys, judges, and even prosecutors more careful in explaining and executing plea bargains.

That Victor Donald successfully represented himself in his appeal "is quite amazing," Taradash adds.

In siding with Donald, Galati ordered prosecutors to reinstate the original "soft" plea offer, which they did. Donald then pleaded guilty to the robbery charge, and the judge sentenced him to eight years in prison -- time he had already served.

"I have learned to respect the law," says Donald, who says he's already looking for a job, "and I have learned to look at things the way they are. In my case, I have a chance at making a new life for myself, and I plan to do it right this time."

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