Steven Castanedo - Second Degree Murder (denied due process/ coerced plea)
Steven Castanedo was still a teenager when he was arrested for murder in the second degree. He got caught up in a flawed justice system, was not provided with proper defense counsel and became a victim of Florida's Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Law. He's serving a 35 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE, with a 25 year mandatory.
Steven never got a chance for due process with a trial. He basically took the lesser of two evils. His choices were to go to trial the following Monday with an attorney who had not even interviewed one witness or reviewed the case and risk getting LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE (that’s right, prison until he dies), or take a plea and settle for a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years and a maximum of 35 years. Which sounds better to you?
As a seventeen year old with no one to advise him other than a disinterested attorney, do you think Steven was scared? Detectives went to Steven’s house and collected his clothes and shoes to send to forensics to check for blood, gun residue, or any DNA that could place him at the crime. They also tested his hands for gun residue to see if he fired a weapon. All tests came back NEGATIVE.
Defense attorney Shirley turned to Steven Castanedo and said “I think it is in your best interest to take the plea”. Shirley stated on record that he “wanted the defendant to understand the severity of the offense”, and that he “was looking at life in prison and never get(ing) [sic] out”. Steven’s attorney coerced him into accepting the plea or alternatively go to trial with an unprepared attorney that knew nothing about the case and risk a LIFE sentence. He was young, terrified, and did not know what to do, so he took his attorney’s advice and pled guilty.
In my opinion on CAPITAL CRIMES I believe prosecutors should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person actually committed the crime DO NOT go off of HEARSAY. I can say anybody did this or that and they are getting life. That is not JUSTICE! Please could you help me help Steven.
We have currently retained Michael Ufferman from Tallahassee, Fl and put the initial down payment which was 5,000 we need 15,000 more to get JUSTICE FOR Steven. If you would like to help Steven and would like to donate you can call Mr. Uffermans law firm and give your donation, just say you would like to make a donation to the Steven Castanedo case. Phone number is 1-850-386-2345 Thank you for reading Stevens story :)