Ismael is a 40 year old nonviolent marijuana offender who has been incarcerated since he was 27.  Ismael was charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.  The substance was 100 kilograms or more of a detectable amount of marijuana.  Aside from a dui when Ismael was younger, this was his first offense.  This nonviolent marijuana offender has been incarcerated since 2004.

Ismael exercised his 6th Amendment right to trial, received the trial penalty and was sentenced to life.  Through Conspiracy Charges and electing to go to trial, Ismael was designated a kingpin. 

Ismael has an impressive prison resume.  He has taken ACE Electrical Trade Introduction to Carpentry USP Yoga Classes Painting, Custodial Maintenance, Rel SVC Reentry Class, Transition Reentry Class, Lether Class, Health and Nutrition, Vocational Business Management Computer Classes and many more.  He has a positive attitude and still has hope.

Ismael told me he tried to smile for his picture, but it didn't happen.  He's not mad, just broken.  He needs support for sentencing relief. 

In January of 2017, Ismael's petition for commutation was denied by President Obama.

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Ismael Lira  45946-180

USP Terre Haute

P O Box 33

Terre Haute, IN. 47808

Letter to President Trump


Dear President Trump:

My name is Ismael Lira. I am 41 years old and I am currently confined in the United States Federal Penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana, Where I am serving a life sentence for the distribution of marijuana. I am writing to ask you for your consideration in commuting my federal sentence.

Mr. President, I am a first-time offender. My case does not involve any violence and I have now served 14 years in prison thus far. I decided to write to you and respectfully ask for your help because I have no other legal recourse other than to seek to have my sentence commuted.

During the 14 years of my incarceration, I have tried to take advantage of the various programs that the Bureau of Prisons offers in order to try and build character and become a better person. I am currently enrolled in an 18-month program called the Life

Connections Program (LCP). This program focuses on preparing us to become pillars of the community as well as productive citizens. Additionally, I also work for the Safety Department here at the Terre Haute prison, where I am gaining a vast amount of experience and valuable skills that I intend to put to use in the community upon my release from prison.

Consequently, this is the area in which I need your help. Given the fact that federal parole was abolished more than two decades ago, my life sentence leaves me without a release date--in other words, as it now stands, I must remain in prison until I die. That is the harsh reality of my situation and that is why I so desperately and respectfully am asking for your help.

President Trump, despite the fact that I was guilty and was convicted for the marijuana, I am not a bad person. I have previously worked and paid taxes and I lived a law abiding life. It was just that once I got caught up on the situation that I did, it snowballed and the result is that I now sit here with very little hope.

I have strong community ties as well as solid family ties and it is the support of my family which has kept me going this far into my sentence. If I were to be released, my family will be there to support me every step of the way and I have a job waiting for me, as a paralegal in a law firm in San Antonio, Texas. I firmly believe that if I were to be given a second chance at life, I would never again jeopardize it and I know that I now have the tools to help me be a productive and law abiding member of society again.

As for my legal case, all I would say is that there was some egregious behavior on the part of the people who were prosecuting me. So much so, that a federal prosecutor and the DEA agent who was the head investigator in my case ended up getting fired for fabricating evidence. Even though that occurred, it doesn't diminish or change what I did, but it does beg the question--when does the punishment fit the crime? They played unethically, yet they only lost their jobs. But me, I must now die in prison? At what point does fairness enter into the legal equation and the legal system? I am not complaining, but I think that what did occur as far as the prosecutor and the agent are concerned, should not be overlooked.

Mr. President, I simply hope that you can see the sincerity in what I have written and I pray that you will somehow find it in your heart to give me a second chance at life by commuting my life sentence down to where I can again one day be back with my family and get back to living a normal, hard working life as a free man.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this very urgent matter concerning my formal request for Executive Clemency and for commutation of my federal sentence.

Respectfully yours,

Ismael Lira - No. 45946-180Dear President Trump: