Lori Kavitz's 24-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute meth has been called "idiotic, arbitrary, unduly harsh, and grossly unfair"—by the very man who imposed it. US District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett is one of thousands asking President Obama to pardon Kavitz, whose "major mistake was being involved with her boyfriend, who she assisted in the methamphetamine operation, out of a misguided sense of loyalty and love," he says. In a post at candoclemency, Kavitz writes that her judgment was "horribly skewed" by the trauma of her husband's recent suicide and her "desperation to provide for my sons" when she started dating a new man. He sold meth out of the couple's home, and when police arrived, they cast Kavitz as his accomplice, reports the Washington Post. She's been in jail about 15 years now.
Her boyfriend got 20 years, while Kavitz got 24, and son Collin says it's because the boyfriend falsely blamed her. It "was a gross miscarriage of justice" and "I was embarrassed and ashamed to be … imposing such an unfair sentence," judge Bennett writes in a letter to the Justice Department. He says he had no choice because of sentencing guidelines. While Kavitz says she was led "to choices that I will always regret," Collin—who lives more than 1,000 miles from the Florida prison where his mother resides and hasn't seen her in more than 10 years because the trip is too expensive—notes she was "a first time nonviolent drug offender." Now "she's got children who are grown and grandchildren she's never met," a friend adds, per TruthOut. (This woman is in jail for her boyfriend's abuse.)