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Florida Inmate Mitchell E. Finlay Plans Startup Company To Hire X-Felons & Minorities Announced Balanced Justice Network

Partially handcuffed wrist symbolizes the border between freedom and incarceration

Partially handcuffed wrist symbolizes the border between freedom and incarceration

5 Year Plea Deal But Got Life

Hiring former incarcerated men is a smart business decision. Given the chance to earn a good living they will excel as employees and won't return to prison.

Hiring former incarcerated men is a smart business decision. Given the chance to earn a good living they will excel as employees and won't return to prison.”
— Mitchell E. Finlay
PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES , May 15, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Balanced Justice Network announced today that Florida inmate Mitchell E. Finlay has developed a business plan for training and hiring former prisoners along with minorities facing workplace challenges. Finlay will establishes his startup company in South Florida. He reports that throughout the 22 years and 9 months of his incarceration he has formulated and designed multiple business plans that include incorporating a large workforce of returning citizens.

"The majority of the men I have known who are scheduled to be released have no job skills. Others that have reached the end of their sentence have faced real hardship when they leave prison. They have encountered employers who are reluctant if not outright hostile to hiring them. Some will hire them only if they accept lower pay. I am convinced that most of these men want to work and would make the best employees given a chance. In my opinion, they would be the most loyal and most productive members of a team given some training and a decent wage," stated Finlay who empathizes with the plight of returning citizens. "They want to help lift their families out of poverty and pay back for the years of financial support -- money they received to pay for phone calls and to buy food and hygiene essentials. Unless you have someone in prison, most people don't know the big sacrifice families make to cover the high cost of phone calls and the even higher cost for food," Finlay explained.

These challenges don't face Finlay who has a supportive family and a mentor, a successful businessman, who immediately upon Finlay's release will guide him on how to launch his own federal contracting firm.

Finlay has recorded numerous podcast episodes from prison which can be heard on Balanced Justice Network. Two episodes in particular -- "Making a Difference" and "Second Chances" address the importance to him of paying it forward and making good at a second opportunity to live in freedom.

- Currently, Finlay is in State prison serving a mandatory Life sentence.
- August of this year will mark his 23rd year incarcerated.
- His family is campaigning for a second chance and release on probation.
- Finlay has maintained his innocence throughout the past two decades.
- He was in his late 20s at the time of his arrest.
- This May Finlay will turn 52 years old.

In 2001 Finlay, then in his late 20s, was arrested in Miami Beach after a one-night intimate encounter in his hotel room with a woman he had just met.
He was accused of sexual assault, rejected a 5-year plea deal from Miami-Dade prosecutors, went to trial, believing innocent people don't take plea deals, lost at trial and was sentenced to Life. He has served 22 years and 9 months.

The Executive Director of Balanced Justice Network, Evelyn Castillo-Bach is determined to demonstrate to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle that Finlay is worthy of a second chance and merits immediate release on probation. "As Mitchell's mom and as Executive Director, I don't seek to point fingers. We simply want the Miami-Dade State Attorney to give Mitchell a second chance. He will contribute to the lives of many others," affirms Castillo-Bach.

According to the American Bar Association 2023 Plea Bargain Task Force Report, their study identified a significant differential between plea deals offered and the prison sentence administered when defendants choose to go to trial.

As reported in the 2023 Plea Bargain Task Force Report, Criminal Justice Section “while in general some difference between the sentence offered prior to trial and the sentence received after trial is permissible, a substantial difference undermines the integrity of the criminal system and reflects a penalty for exercising one’s right to trial. This differential, often referred to as the trial penalty, should be eliminated."

Castillo-Bach added her agreement with the following American Bar Association statement in the 2023 Plea Bargain Task Force Report.

“Charges should not be selected or amended with the purpose of creating a sentencing differential, sentencing enhancement, punishment or collateral consequence to induce a defendant to plead guilty or to punish defendants for exercising their rights, including the right to trial.”

Balanced Justice Network advocates for criminal justice reform, second chances and transparency in plea bargains and sentencing.

The Balanced Justice Network website also gives a concise summary on the case and includes a link to the last legal brief filed by Finlay’s appellate attorney Richard C. Klugh.

On November 13, 2015, appellate attorney Richard C. Klugh filed an appeal to the Life sentence in THE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF FLORIDA, THIRD DISTRICT, CASE NO.: 3D15-1249, MITCHELL FINLAY, Appellant,-vs-STATE OF FLORIDA. APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR DADE COUNTY.

Evelyn Castillo-Bach
Balanced Justice Network - Changing The System
info@balancedjusticenetwork.org
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