Archive 03/18/2024




This video covers why your NARRATIVE is critical in your defense. Why? To date, the DOJ has published your story or autobiography in the form of your INDICTMENT, which was released everywhere across the net, and if you do nothing, your judge will read and assume the gospel truth.

If you don’t agree with 100% of your INDICTMENT, you have a choice: to tell your story through Your NARRATIVE. I hope this video helps, and I am available to answer any questions.

I) Your NARRATIVE should be provided to your Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before your Presentence Interview to be included in your Presentence Report. It impacts STAKEHOLDERS you will meet,

  • Your Attorney: In addition to your charges, they will learn more about who you are. This may help in your defense.
  • Your Probation Officer: Following your interview and investigation, they will draft the official Presentence Report based on what they have learned from you. With no NARRATIVE, it will be skewed toward the version of the INDICTMENT. Please take the time to write your NARRATIVE and proofread it and your Presentence Report for accuracy with your attorney.
  • The Prosecutor will still likely want to convict you but may be swayed by your NARRATIVE.
  • The Courts /Your Judge usually already has a sentence in mind by the time you get to your sentencing hearing.
    • If your NARRATIVE was written and embedded within your Presentence Report, your judge likely would have read it, learning more about you than just what was in your INDICTMENT. Depending on your NARRATIVE, judges across the country agree that they want to hear from the defendants because crimes do not happen in a vacuum. Judges want to learn the why. After learning the why, do you take responsibility for your actions? And do you have remorse for the harm caused to the victims of the crime you have perpetrated?

YOUR SENTENCING HEARING: Your First and Only Opportunity  To Speak Directly With Your Judge

 What Can You Do To Stand Out?


Michael. Santos interviews Federal Judge Mark Bennett on the importance of writing Your Personal NARRATIVE and including it in Your Presentence Report.

If your attorney does not want to include your Narrative, this is ‘Your Life’—You Decide.
Insist that they include it In Your PSR, “I’m not saying it; this is from Federal Judge Bennett.”
But if you cower to the attorney’s wishes – Regrets after sentencing can’t help you.

Title 18, Section 3553, states the various factors that judges must consider when determining the proper sentence for a given offense. Among the most pertinent considerations are the Nature and Circumstances of the offense itself and the offender’s Personal History and Individual Characteristics.

These factors help ensure that sentencing decisions are fair and just and that the punishment fits the crime. This is your opportunity to provide your Story, Autobiography, or NARRATIVE of your life and what brought you to this day. Accepting responsibility and Having Remorse for the Victims you Created.

Departure Factors (Woven into the Narrative)

E Factors:
E Factors refer to circumstances that may warrant a departure from the sentencing guidelines established by the United States Sentencing Commission. These factors include aspects of the offense or the offender’s background that the guidelines do not adequately consider. Some examples of E factors include:

    1. The defendant’s role in the offense
    2. The defendant’s criminal history
    3. The presence of substantial assistance provided by the defendant to law enforcement
    4. The defendant’s mental or physical condition
      • Mental Illness:
        Did this contribute to the crime? Was there a history of significant abuse or trauma growing up? Either way, have you been in therapy? Has your attorney requested that you be evaluated? If there is a current treating therapist, it is best for all if they appear as witnesses. Most judges would rather hear from a treating physician than a doctor for hire. This is not to put down experts, as they provide expert testimony that can only come from a select few.
      • Was substance abuse involved in your charge(s)? Did you start treatment before your indictment, the guilty hearing, Presentence Interview (PSI), or Sentencing?
        • All the better, AA, NA, GA, or Psychological Counseling should be included in your PSR and Sentencing Memorandum. Letters verifying either completion or ongoing treatment add credibility.
    5. The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for the offense
    6. Any other relevant factor that justifies a departure from the guidelines

F Factors (Below Guideline Range Factors):
F Factors refer to circumstances that may justify imposing a sentence below the guideline range, even if a departure is not warranted. These factors are also considered under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and include:

    1. The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense
    2. The History and Characteristics of the Defendant
    3. The sentence must reflect the offense’s seriousness, promote respect for the law, and provide just punishment.
    4. There is a need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.
    5. There is a need to protect the public from further crimes committed by the defendant.
    6. The defendant needs to be provided with educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment.

Your ALLOCUTION. During the judge’s conversation with you, in addition to covering the points below, he/she may want to know, in the end,  your REENTRY PLAN or what you plan to do when you get out to not re-offend.  This is a short, to-the-point video.

During Your Allocution, Judges Look For,

    1. A sincere demeanor
    2. Discuss what “taking full responsibility” means to the defendant.
    3. An acknowledgment that there are victims (e.g., even when the PSR indicates “no identifiable victim,” as it does in most drug cases);
    4. A more impressive Allocution details how the defendant’s criminal conduct affected the victims.
    5. An expression of genuine remorse.
    6. A plan to use prison or probation time productively.
    7. Discussing why the defendant wants to change his or her criminal behavior, perhaps most importantly, information that helps humanize the defendant and the defendant’s role in the crime.
    8. Tell their story, but don’t minimize the seriousness of what your client did.
    9. Judges will sometimes ask a defendant what he/she will do upon release to reduce their need to re-offend.
    10. Show his/her strengths and weaknesses.
    11. If you can show that you are on the same page with the court regarding the seriousness of the offense, the chances of accepting your other statements will increase.

II) Your NARRATIVE: these are some of the STAKEHOLDERS you have not yet met.

1. BOP Office of Designation, Grand Prairie, TX: As part of your Presentence Report, it will impact where they place you, yet you have never met them.

2. BOP Staff; Warden, Unit Team, Case Manager:

    • For case managers and unit teams, these are employees, and they see hundreds of inmates/people (if not thousands), so how can you differentiate yourself – demonstrate that you are staying out of trouble, doing your assigned job, attending FSA Classes, and doing other constructive work. Reading Non-Fiction, teaching a course, and documenting everything you do (these are ideas I learned from others). Are you an artist? That is important as long as you have constructive interest that can lead to a career after release.
    • There are few ways in prison to demonstrate an individual’s Personal Growth and Development that prepare them to reenter society as law-abiding citizens. However, using your time constructively is important, as BOP Staff will observe you daily.
      • Eventually, you will be released. Will you need to work? What are your interests? Is this too early or premature in your sentence to consider this question? Honestly -> No.
      • Are you a High School Grad?
        • No, then consider getting your GED.
        • Yes, Then get a College Degree with The Second Chance Pell Grant.
        • If you have already graduated from college or graduate school or built a successful business, consider teaching a course and giving credit to your case manager.
    • In the meantime, use your time constructively. Read to learn, which is Non-Fiction on any topic from painting to computers, History to Philosophy. And if you’re serious, which I hope you are, write down the parts that interest you for later use.


III) To Get Started With Your NARRATIVE

Call 240.888.7778 for a personal one-on-one call
to discuss your current issue or that of a loved one.

-Marc Blatstein

3/28/2024, Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years  When You Don’t Accept Responsibility, and Have No Remorse for Victims You’ve Harmed

Judge Kaplan went on to say that,

  1. Bankman-Fried repeatedly committed perjury and witness tamperring.
  2. “This man could do something very bad in the future, and it’s not a trivial risk at all.”

The two things that SBF should have done,

  1. Accept Responsibility – Don’t Blame ‘Others.’
  2. Express Remorse – Judge Kaplan said he expressed “never a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes.”

The current CEO of FTX, John Ray, noted that “Mr. Bankman-Fried continues to live a life of delusion.” 

My Comments,

  1. Was there ever a moment when his legal team encouraged him to accept responsibility and express remorse for the victims harmed?
  2. Video or written, with or without mental health professionals working to bring out the story of his life, at the same time, answering the How and What happened as this event exploded out of control.


YOUR NARRATIVE📜 May Help Your Judge🤞Mitigate Their Sentencing Decision

YOUR NARRATIVE📜 YOUR STORY, Provided 1-2 Weeks Before The PSI; Helps The Judge Know ‘You’, May🤞Mitigate Their Sentencing Decision

Dr. M. Blatstein

Dr. M. Blatstein



This study provides more Validation for 👉The Personal NARRATIVE (written by your client, reviewed and guided by those with Mitigation Experience), and then provided to their Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before their Presentence Interview. The included in The Presentence Report is now Under Seal and will be read by all of your future STAKEHOLDERS.

Now your client’s NARRATIVE (with their RELEASE Plan and Letters Attesting to their CHARACTER), becomes part of their Presentence Report-Under Seal. Aside from their INDICTMENT, the Judge can learn ‘who’ the defendant is.

In this Study👇1 (N=132), evidence about the mitigating circumstances reduced punishment only when it was presented before evidence about the perpetrator’s violation, in other words before the Judge, 1st) reads the Presentence Report that just has the DOJ INDICTMENT, without your NARRATIVE, and 2nd) evaluates the Probation Officers sentencing and placement recommendations, solely based of the DOJs INDICTMENT-NARRATIVE of your client.



Your client’s story, seen through the eyes of The DOJ Indictment, makes them look like America’s Most Wanted. If left unchallenged, this will be the story or NARRATIVE of your client that future STAKEHOLDERS will read and believe, starting with the Judge.

Waiting until the sentencing hearing is not acceptable because 1st) all your Judge will know about you is through your INDICTMENT, and 2nd) they usually have a tentative sentence in mind during the week before the hearing – which is based on that same INDICTMENT. See this short Video on Sharing your story.

Judges have agreed that they need your client’s help in understanding ‘the why’, of what happened. They know that crimes do not occur in a vacuum and are interested in what caused the person in front of them to break the law.


‘Stand Out To Your Judge.’ M. Santos interviews Federal Judge Mark Bennett on the importance of writing Your Personal NARRATIVE, including it in Your Presentence Report. 


Presenting all of the court-requested Biographical Background, Personal Identification along with your client’s Story or NARRATIVE, and RELEASE Plan 1-2 weeks before their Presentence Interview allows the Probation Officer to learn about your client before they ever meet.

A little effort goes a long way, as these officers each have huge caseloads and no time. So it should come as no surprise that some may actually appreciate the fact that your client came to this meeting prepared and provided all of the information needed before the interview date. This gives the officer time, allowing them to fill out their Probation Report before they ever meet your client, not being rushed.

Then at the interview, the officer can take the time needed to get to know your client personally, coming away from the interview where your client appears the opposite of the person characterized in the INDICTMENT. As these are usually in written format, judges may find viewing a Video a better way to get to know your client’s whole story. These videos can be under 10 minutes and can be taken with a Smartphone if budgets are tight.

👉 Writing your NARRATIVE is an Arduous and Self-Reflective Experience

Make sure your client has Truthtellersto support them.

  • We All Make Mistakes
  • Don’t forget: this is your chance.
  • Those around you should bring out something Positive in you.
  • This is your client’s autobiography (of their life), the good – the bad, and the ugly.
  • Enablers may make you feel good for that moment – but will not 👎🏻 be helpful in the long run. The NARRATIVE is your client’s explanation without excuses, where they have accepted responsibility⚖️ and have remorse for the pain they have caused while not minimizing what has happened.

When writing The NARRATIVE, consider associating your client with those most appropriate and knowledgeable regarding what they will be facing before, during, and after prison. This skill goes beyond the traditional defense and is best provided,

  • At the appropriate time (just before or after the guilty verdict in preparation for their PSI),
  • Those with the appropriate experience of what their client’s future STAKEHOLDERS will need to see and hear before their interview – during and after incarceration, and as they prepare to ‘successfully’ reenter society.
  1. The Probation Officer (PSI) and Judge are now their first two STAKEHOLDERS.


  1. Nature and CIRCUMSTANCE: Here, you want to describe,
  • Why did you do this?
  • How did you get involved?
  • What was your involvement?
  • You should check that your involvement reflects what is in the final Presentence Report.

2. History and CHARACTERISTICS, Here you want to include,

  • Your client’s remorse,
  • Your Client’s Accepted Responsibility
  • How your client ruined their victim’s lives,
  • Traumatic Life event(s) – review with details,
  • Show the court what your client’s plan is never to come back,
  • Where there was a positive or negative family life – explain this,
  • What has this experience taught them? Did it bring up moments from our client’s past?
  • Was there a “trigger,” what was that trigger, and how do you remove it from your client’s life?
  • Include the good things that your client’s done, explain with examples and letters (at least 10 good ones) that Attest to their Character,
  • Show what your client’s doing today to change and improve themself regarding rehabilitation (NA, AA, GA, Therapy, etc.), Community Volunteering, and paying restitution – if they can. This all becomes part of your PSR, now Under Seal.
  • Should a Professional License Be lost, include how this will result in the loss of a profession loved, a career, and income. Still looking into other options, incarceration is temporary, and life will go on with strategic and well-thought-out planning.

Consider this short YouTube before writing your NARRATIVE. Simply speaking, this is Your Story or Autobiography. Nike’s Brand is ‘Just Do It’, Tesla’s is Space-X,  and your NARRATIVE has to be your story and the experiences that brought you to this point in your life – helping your Judge, understand who you are.

3.     FAMILIAL HISTORY: Married – Children – parents’ responsibilities and sole caregiver

4.     DEFENDANT’S PHYSICAL CONDITION: Medically documented, bad Back-Hip-Knees-Shoulder along with Tinnitus could provide your client with a Bottom Bunk. Diabetic, Vascular Disease, Raynaylds could allow the Medicare soft shoe or sneakers.

5.     MEDICAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH: Include ALL medical records, Labs, Surgery Reports, Diagnostic: X-rays, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, PET scans (in Written, Flashdrive or CD format), Prescriptions for medications (Check Generic Medication Availability), and medical devices, along will All physician contact information. These specific medical needs can be met if included as part of your Medical History;

  • Bottom Bunk: Past medical history of Tinnitus, vertigo, or back problems.
  • Diabetic Soft Shoes, Sneakers Instead of Rigid Institutional Boots: Past medical history of a torn Achilles heel, knee, or hip issues.
  • Being of a certain age / Having weight or having a Hernia issue: could result in getting passes of “no standing for prolonged periods” and “no lifting over 15 pounds,” helping you escape some of the crappier work assignments.
  • “Medical idles,” which get you out of everything, are also available, either short or long-term, for various ongoing ailments (ranging from a bad hip to PTSD).

6.     SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Alcohol, Drugs (Legal or Illegal), within the previous 12 months before the arrest. RDAP allows up to 1 year off the sentence. They may do a Urine test.

  • If you started these programs on your own, before your Presentence Interview or before you were Indicted, MENTION THESE IN THE NARRATIVE, WITH COPIES OF YOUR TREATMENT RECORDS FROM YOUR PROVIDERS (AA, NA, Gambling, or a Sex Therapy Program).

7.     EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL SKILLS: Copied of the highest level; otherwise, a GED will be required in prison. If you have experience with computers, administrators frown on these skills, so you may not want to include these certifications.

8.     MILITARY: Copies, branch, discharge?

9.     EMPLOYMENT: The P.O. will check. Judges love a good work record or history.

10.     STATEMENT FINANCIAL RECORDS: If there are financial fines/ restitution, Congress and The BOP now strongly encourage participation in their Financial Responsibility Plan in order to benefit from all Earned Time Credits and access to Programming. This is in addition to all other required financial records. Don’t try to hide parts or all of this, as the P.O. may find out, angering the Judge.


Taking weeks to months to complete can result in a distilled version of yourself that is honest and pure, where you feel Remorse, Accept Responsibility, and Identify with the Victims of the Crime You Perpetrated.

  • If the resulting Narrative or Your Story – is quite the opposite of the DOJ’s Indictment Narrative, where your client sounded like ‘America’s Most Wanted, ‘then your client did a Great Job!


1.   Divorce Decree

2.   Financial Records

3.   School Diplomas, Your highest education level completed, Professional Diplomas, and any Trade or Occupational Certification(s).

4.   Marriage Certificate

5.   Naturalization papers

6.   Draft Registration card

7.   Car Registration papers

8.   Military Discharge certificate

9.   Birth or baptismal certificate

9.   Immigration papers or passport

10. Employment verification (pay stubs)

11. Character Letters of Recommendation

12. Military Disability information (C-number)

13. Income Tax reports for the last three years (or more if requested)

14. Outstanding Detainers and Immigration Issues Resolved before The Presentence Interview

15. Proof of residence (rent receipts, property, mortgage papers, etc.)

16. Professional papers (COPIES: Social Security Card, Drivers’ License, and Birth Certificate.)

17. Medical Records, Hospital – Surgical – Pathology and Blood Lab Reports, Copies of X-ray, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, PET Scans, EEG, EKG reports (on Flash Drives or CDs), Prescriptions for Medications and Medical Devices.

This is from my article on LinkedIn.