Sharanda Jones says she was never told she could be facing life in prison after being indicted for seven counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine. It was her first criminal offense. During her week-long trial, prosecutors were unable to produce any physical evidence that Jones actually ever possessed, bought, or sold cocaine and according to courtroom testimony, relied mostly on the word of admitted drug dealers and users who received leniency in exchange for their testimony. When the judge read the verdicts — “not guilty” for six counts and “guilty” of one — Jones felt somewhat relieved. That feeling wouldn’t last very long.

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