Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Cold Pathetic Heart Of The American Criminal Justice System

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A 10-year-old Lincoln girl dying of brain cancer has one wish -- for her father to be at her bedside.

It isn't likely to happen. Her father is in a federal prison in Yankton, S.D.

Vonda Yaeger is pleading with the warden for compassion to grant her daughter's wish.

"She wants her dad. She goes to her room crying because she wants her dad," Yaeger said.

Jason Yaeger was convicted of methamphetamine charges nearly five years ago and is scheduled to be released next year.

"We've never asked them to release him early. Never asked them to change anything. We've asked them to just give him some time to be here," Vonda Yaeger said.

Jayci Yaeger has been allowed three escorted visits with her father, but each trip lasts only a couple of hours and costs the family hundreds of dollars. Requests for longer furloughs have been denied.

"They say it doesn't constitute an extraordinary circumstance," Vonda Yaeger said.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit