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Off Topic :
How do I decide whether or not to post bail?

Topic is Sleeping.
helpless

 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 10:25 AM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

My son, the one who is in so much trouble (out on bond) for robbing a bank… He was arrested last night for stealing a car a few days back. He called me from the room where he was talking to the detective. He was completely hysterical.

He just kept asking me, "Mom, do you think there’s any hope for me? Is there anything good inside of me?" I thought I might die.

He called back a couple of hours later and said that his bond had been tripled, because he committed this offense while he was on bail for another offense. His bond is now set at $111,000, so posting bail would be $11,000.

We have it, but would be taking money out of our savings that is supposed to be for the rest of our lives. Also, I have to think what would happen if he decided he was too scared to show up in court, and we had to pay the full $111,000.

I know it is probably ridiculous for me to post this. I know that probably 100% of any responses will say that I should not post bail for any reason. That I’m a hopeless enabler, and that I am hurting him.

He says he stole a car because he got into fight with his girlfriend, and she asked him to leave. And he has just gotten a good job and he’s so excited about being able to work hard and provide for his son and family. He’s wanting so badly to prove to everyone that he can be a better person.

But I also know that he tends to panic, And make bad choices.

While we were talking to him from jail earlier this evening, I put his father on the phone, because I was feeling like I was going to get hysterically upset. After talking to my husband for a little bit, my son started getting upset. I needed to leave the room for a minute and told him he needed to talk to his dad. I could hear him tell his father that he didn’t want to talk to him, that he would rather talk to me. He said that he knew that his dad didnt mind him staying in jail.

When I heard that, I stormed into the room and told him that he would not talk to his father in that way.

He kept calling me and calling me back from the jail. When I finally answered, I went off on him. What an unkind thing for me to do. While he is at one of the all-time lows in his life, I should have not done it. But I told him that I would not tolerate him talking to his dad in that way. I told him that he might choose to treat his father that way, but I was not going to allow him to treat my husband that way. He kept talking, so I hung up on him.

After I finish speaking to my son, I went in and yelled at my husband for a while. I told him that I would give ANYTHING in the world to have someone stand up for me like I just did it for him to our son. Crickets.

Come morning, he will be calling me again… Several times a minute if I don’t answer. He is more scared and more upset than I have ever known him to be. He keeps talking about his son. He keeps saying that if they give him a lot of years in jail, that he won’t get to see your son and he doesn’t think he can live through that.

He tells me he will do anything. There is a program in our town called a "man of valor" that is a residential facility for men involved with trouble with the law. Even said that he wants to go there. He wants to do better. But he panics when he thinks that he can’t be the man that he wants to be.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I can value money over my son. But I also don’t know how I can risk a big chunk of our savings/investments when I know that he is panicking.He panics about going to court and facing his punishment for these things, I’m afraid he might decide to flee.

If he goes to jail for years, it is very possible that he won’t have two parents when he gets out.

I’m just so very scared.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

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devotedman ( member #45441) posted at 1:15 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Regretfully, I would not post bail. It would hurt not to, but you and your H are getting up in years, as am I, and this money could, at some point, be the difference between medicine and not, or housing and not, or something and not.

At some point you have to put yourself and your welfare over others convenience. Sad as that decision can be sometimes i think it the right way to go.

This site is all about actions have consequences. He makes bad decisions. Bad decisions have consequences.

Also, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. His behavior in the past hasn't been good. It hasn't been filled with good decisions. This latest event is an example.

Under what system of logic does streaking a car seem to be the best way to cope with your girlfriend being mad at you? Yet, that's his logic at work.

Words are cheap, actions are hard. He's always got loads of pretty words to go with loads of ugly actions.

Me: 2xBS b 1962 xWW after 2 decades, xWGF after almost 1.
Amelia Pond: Who are you?
The Doctor: I don't know yet. I'm still cooking.
ENFP-A. Huh.

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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 1:32 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Whatsright, I am so sorry this has happened. No matter what, you are his mother and those feelings run so deep.

First off, does he have an attorney? If so, please talk to the attorney so you will know exactly what you are dealing with. And please look at it this way FOR NOW -- your son is safe, he's not hungry or cold while in jail even though it's not a pleasant place to be. Often an attorney can file a motion for a bond reduction hearing and they are often successful unless it's for violence or murder. Ask the attorney if there is a possibility that motion can be filed. The courts don't get in any hurry so that will take a while. The motion could include a request for electronic monitoring of your son should he be released on a lower bond.

You know your son and you do express a worry that he might not show up for court and you would have to pay the huge amount. That is a big financial risk for you. Another suggestion is IF you pay the $1100 bond, is there a chance to get your son into a confined drug treatment facility (like the info I sent to you on PM) because judges always look favorable on defendants who seek help. And your son really appears to need the help. You, like so many mothers in your position, are simply not qualified to give him the help he needs.

His defense emphasizes should be placed on his NEED for help and his willingness to seek help. That is why it's crucial that you communicate with his attorney. Even a court-appointed attorney will work with you about seeking help for him if he can be released on bond.

Good luck and I will be thinking of you.

"Because I deserve better"

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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 6:44 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

He says he stole a car because he got into fight with his girlfriend, and she asked him to leave.

I don’t know… Is he excusing or explaining the theft as if it was her fault for creating the conditions where he was forced to steal a car? Is stealing a car the normal response to an argument?

Brutally honestly… And I know I would probably be saying something else if this was my son. I really acknowledge that… But in brutal honesty:
His actions while already on bail and waiting a trial clearly show he isn’t capable of thinking correctly. What happens if he jumps bail? What would losing 11k do for you and your savings? Would you be accountable for the whole amount? Can you afford that?
Why do you expect him to get bail and behave sensibly until his court-hearing?
What would not springing him out do? What is the prognosis on his upcoming trial? Will he be doing time anyways?

We offered all sorts of advice previously on how good behavior might mitigate his probable outcome for the bank-robbery. I have a sinking feeling that a judge will look at his recent behavior and be extremely reluctant to offer him a break. Sorry.

Honestly – I would hear from his attorney what’s ahead for your son, but I think you have offered him all the fingers he can grab, and if you don’t start thinking of yourself you might get your hand gnawed off.

I want to share this again with you.

It's not your fault or of reasons to you that he started using. It’s despite your efforts. Big difference.


So sorry you are dealing with this.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 7:22 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

I could hear him tell his father that he didn’t want to talk to him, that he would rather talk to me. He said that he knew that his dad didnt mind him staying in jail.

Gently, gently, gently... this means he knows he has a better shot at manipulating you than his father.

The agonizing reality is that your son seems incapable of making better decisions, so he's going to end up in jail no matter what you do. If you let go of the outcome and accept that now, then the funds that you would have lost to bail jumping will be available to help your grandson. That's what your son insists he wants: to take care of his child. If you want to believe the best of him, then honor that by keeping the money safe as a potential safety net for his little boy.

WW/BW

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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 9:25 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Y’all are right, of course.

My son gave me permission to talk with his lawyer.

The first words out of his mouth were to NOT post bail. He said they were going to revoke his bail, and I would just lose the money. He also said that he was facing serious charges with this last arrest. My son said it was about stealing a car, but evidently there is more. The lawyer is going to make contact with my son.

So that’s it I guess.

Now I have started trying to figure out how I can keep my husband and I alive till he gets out. I can’t stand him to suffer that loss while he is in jail. Although I have to admit that a long life has zero appeal to me now.

And, of course, his son is too young to visit him, and will not remember him.

I know he made his choices. I get it...I do. But that’s easy to say for all of us who have not been given prefrontal developmental challenges from birth. And who did not get an early childhood concussion which changed our affect.

Anyway, this is my new reality.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 9:26 PM, Wednesday, December 1st]

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 9:56 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Thirty years as a criminal defense lawyer speaking here, and the father of two adult sons who have so far not been to jail but……..

Do not bail him out.

Your description suggests that he likely has time in custody coming, perhaps measurable in years. The fact he allegedly committed a felony while out on bond for a felony is what we, in the business, call "a clue."

The most selfish, self-destructive, and foolish things I’ve ever seen a client do were when the clock started to wind down on their freedom (out on bond) and the sentence was coming. Drug relapses, absconding, stealing, you name it, I’ve seen it, including running out on a bail secured by a parents’ home and having the parents’ home forfeited.

Also, clients out on bond are notorious for magical thinking about their situation. A man sitting in jail understands his situation, he can grapple with the reality of a plea bargain that keeps them in jail for xx vs. a potential sentence of far more time rationally. He knows what jail is, he knows he can grind it out, and he knows he doesn’t want a single day more than is necessary to solve the problem he created.

A man out on bond often has magical thinking. They tend to think that the outcome of a trial will somehow magically be that they don’t get convicted at all, or that the judge won’t actually give them a long sentence, or that somehow, the plea bargain they’ve been offered is their own lawyer selling them out or whatever and they just need a better lawyer, and a continuance, and another witness subpoenaed, and on and on and on they go with every ridiculous excuse in the world to delay, deny, distort the situation. They just dismiss the reality in favor of the magical thinking, because what they know is "jail bad, not in jail good" and they are not in jail, and they are not volunteering to return to jail. The worst outcomes I’ve ever seen were people out on bond who just could not accept good advice and they wound up getting an exponentially worse sentence because they deluded themselves into thinking their freedom was not at stake.

It’s agonizing, I know. There’s a look, a sound moms make when their son is taken away in shackles and it isn’t heard or seen anywhere else. The moms I know who have been there and done that enough finally get to the place where they prefer their son in jail because at least they know where he is and that he won’t be gunned down in the street in a drug deal.

Do not bail him out.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 227   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 10:04 PM on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

I’m not a mom, so I can only imagine the pull you are feeling. But I think the risk to the funds (YOUR future! YOUR grandson’s future!) and his lack of responsible behavior make it a bad idea to post bail.

Put the $11k in a 529 or some other vehicle to save for your grandson’s college/vocational training. (Great idea from earlier poster).

I am so sorry — this is so heartbreaking. (((Hugs)))

[This message edited by BearlyBreathing at 11:29 PM, Wednesday, December 1st]

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 2:02 AM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

When he calls, he keeps saying he wants to fight the charges "from the streets".

Then he says he simply can’t go that long without seeing his son.

He is in disbelief that the lawyer said NOT to post bail, and couldn’t believe I was not going to do it.

He is going before the court tomorrow to ask for a reduction in bail.

This is taking a toll beyond the obvious. I’m scared to see my granddaughter...it makes me grieve for the fact that my son and his son won’t see each other for years.

I was raised so differently. I can’t even believe this is my family.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

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deena04 ( member #41741) posted at 3:49 AM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

First, big hugs to you. Next, would he be safer in jail? What I mean is on the outside, he has run into problems and could end up seriously hurt. Is he safer behind bars right now to be able to regroup and get his brain right? That could be one consideration when you are trying to decide all of this. More big hugs.

Me FBS 40s, Him XWS older than me (lovemywife4ever), D, He cheated before M, forgot to tell me. I’m free and loving life.

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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 6:41 AM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Whatsright, I'm glad you are talking to his attorney. While he is going to ask for a reduction of bail costs, be prepared that may not happen. Where I am, each arrest has it's own case number and bail is set for that case number. I guess it's puzzling to me that you would told you could lose the bond money. That usually only happens if they jump bail and disappear and a failure to appear docket hearing is set and the person does not turn themselves in.

I do have to agree with the others that perhaps being in jail is the best place for him right now. He won't go hungry and he won't be cold. I know that is SO hard for you and my heart goes out to you. Your son clearly needs help and he's not going to get it, being out on the streets. Did the attorney tell you that you could attend the hearing or will that be done by a remote appearance by your son? Did you find out if you can put money on his 'books' in jail so that he can have extra food and other supplies? That would be a way to help him right now.

I know you are hurting about his little son but please keep that precious boy in your life. That WILL help you to know you are helping his son.

"Because I deserve better"

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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 12:37 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

I’m inferring here, but where I practice You could pay a bondsman $11000 to post the $111,000 bond. You will never get that $11,000 back, its gone, it’s a fee you paid the bondsman. Now, of the defendant on bond absconds, the bond company has to pay the $111,000 to court but they will have had mom and dad in this case sign a contract and put up collateral so that in the end, the bond company gets their money back and mom and dad are out $122,000.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 12:54 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

IF your son is guilty of the charges brought against him and/or IF the case against him is so tight that jail-time is unavoidable then the focus might be to a) minimize jail-time and b) maximize whatever benefit might be found while incarcerated.

The later might sound strange and it varies state-by-state and country-by-country. In my neck of the woods there are various levels of prison. We have the storage centers where lost causes are simply stored. Basically, lock the cage and throw away the key policy. Not much emphasis on any rehabilitation, training or preparation for "normal" life. This is IMHO what you want to avoid for your son. He goes there then he comes out a hardened criminal IMHO.
Then there are the various levels of prisons that focus on rehabilitation in some form or other. Some through work, boot-camp policies, access to mental-health services, activities… Others are simply "nice" (relative to prisons…) – the "country-clubs" embezzlers and white-collar criminals are kept in.

Check with his attorney what your son’s best (maybe more like least-bad) future might be. I’m thinking jail-time is inevitable, but it’s more an issue of what he can do while incarcerated, if he can have his son visit without a plexiglass divider and in cuffs and how he comes out. Maybe the DA is willing to negotiate a better deal in lieu of the hassle of a trial, and in turn with the judge that your son gets REHABILITATION instead of plain old punishment.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 2:45 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

I hate to be the one to point out the obvious…I promise there’s no judgement in it. But if he hadn’t been out on bail from prior then this second offense wouldn’t have been committed. IOW, it may have been better had the prior bond not been posted. Given his prior history and your concerns now, posting bail may very well be the WORST thing you can do for him now.

And my experience with bond was exactly what wiseoldfool said: the bond money is a fee, it’s not returned. And if he jumps it, the bonds people WILL find him. It’s what they do. He would then also be in a MUCH worse position with the courts. Additional charges and the judge will look at him much less favorably.

I know you feel somewhat responsible for him. I know you understand some of the challenges that he has from earlier in life and how that may affect him. But he’s also an adult beyond just being your son. Help him when he’s doing the right things; don’t help him when he’s doing the wrong things. That’s the only way to ACTUALLY help him.

The turning point for my son came when he realized that I wasn’t going down that road with him. And that means exactly that. I wasn’t going to be there when he wasn’t doing the right things. That point came for me when I realized that I was on a path that *I had not chosen, that I didn’t want*. Not because my son had chosen it and I was just stuck…but more importantly, because *I* had NOT chosen it. I wasn’t doing the things he was doing because I didn’t want that path MORE than he didn’t. I couldn’t control the choices for him but I COULD control the choices for me. And I had the right to live as much the kind of life as I wanted, based on the choices I was making. I didn’t have to live a life based on the choices HE was making. I couldn’t walk away from all the effects of his choices…but I sure as hell could mitigate the degree to which I invested in that. And one of the first things I had to understand was that his choices were much more detrimental to me than they were to him…if simply because it *mattered* more to me than it did him. This is key, WR. If any/all of this concerned/upset him as much as it does you, he wouldn’t have done the things he did. This bothers you more than it does him…so all the feelings you are having? They’re probably less for him. No matter what he says right now. This isn’t his first rodeo. Sorry to draw this correlation but it’s no different than dealing with a serial cheater. They’re sorry when they get caught…but not sorry enough to not do it again.

I’m sorry, WR. I truly understand this isn’t easy. It’s not like a switch you can just flip off. But the reality is we all only get so many years here. Despite being his mom, there is nothing that makes the quality of his life more valuable than yours. We like to think as parents that our desire for our children to have good lives is entirely altruistic. But the truth beyond that is that we also really desire our children to have good lives because it then makes our lives better. There’s already a selfish component to this for us as parents. So we have to look at that piece when the things we are doing for our adult kids are not really helping them…and we have to look at it when the bad decisions our kids are making are destroying all our personal quality of life. Aside from just that, you may also find that if you can actually explore and change this dynamic within yourself, it just MAY have an affect on your son. It did for mine.

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

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pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 4:38 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Sending love to you whatsright. Dear beautiful soul and Neverending kindness. Strong and wise and kind. Do not sacrifice yourself. Others need you still.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 4:46 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Given his prior history and your concerns now, posting bail may very well be the WORST thing you can do for him now.

It's a good point. If he were out on bail and looking at a grim forecast from his attorney, he might rationalize felony kidnapping as a way to ensure that he'll never be separated from his son.

WW/BW

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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 6:53 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Whatsright, have you heard how the bond reduction hearing went today? Have you been fully informed of the pending charges against him?

Does your state have DRUG COURT? That is an option to criminal court and it's been very successful for rehab of offenders in my state. It's very strict as offenders are called in randomly for drug testing and if they fail, they go back into the criminal court system. The emphasis is on rehab rather than prison, especially if the offender has young children. I am thinking of you and know this is a very difficult time for you.

"Because I deserve better"

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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 7:27 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Most drug courts with which I’m familiar screen out - won’t take - offenders with a history of violence. The charges the OP said he’s facing might very well disqualify him from consideration.

If not, I agree, the drug court alternatives have done so much good work for the people who commit to and complete the programs, and they are rigorous.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

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 WhatsRight (original poster member #35417) posted at 10:44 PM on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

I so much appreciate all the replies to this point.

My son went to court within the jail today to ask that his bond be reduced. They refused to do so. They said that when he went to regular court and if he had a lawyer he might could some help out a little bit in the other court.

My son apologized to me and to his dad for the way he has been over the phone. He told me he was ready to cinch in and start doing his time. He said that he was so focused on getting bailed out because it was just too much for him to imagine being away from his son for so long.

To clarify a couple of points… I didn’t mean to imply that my son was justifying stealing a car because he had a fight with his girlfriend. It was more like, after their argument, he had no means of transportation that he needed in order to keep his job so he could continue to support his son.

Also, based on some of the responses I’ve been reading, it seems that I have given the impression that my son has drug charges. I did refer to his drug addiction at birth, and the fact that drugs have been a problem in the past. But I don’t think they are an issue now. He is not in drug court at all. I’m not sure how that knowledge would affect or change any of your responses.

Anyway, today he was talking about how it is his impression that he will get between six and eight years in prison. He sobbed while he asked me to please promise him that I would never let his son forget him, or forget that he was his dad.

I was sobbing on the phone, which I know it’s not helpful for him. He kept telling me that he was ready to hunker down and start doing his time. He kept telling me that it was going to be all right.

I don’t ever recall feeling this much desperation. Maybe when my husband was in so much excruciating pain.

My son told me today that he expects to be at the jail in our county for a couple of years, and then off to prison. That seems to be the pattern around here. He said that he thought prison would be a little bit better, because he has been told that you get to have different kinds of visits with your family. That it is not a video visit, but you get to see and touch your family. You get to eat with them and play games with your kids. I’m trying to comprehend that his son could be 7-8 years oldcwhen he gets out.

I can’t seem to get a grip on all of this. I know I have to stay healthy for him, but it’s hard to care.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

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Jeaniegirl ( member #6370) posted at 12:59 AM on Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Whatsright, it sounds as if your son is trying to take his responsibilities seriously. I hope that continues and he does have the opportunity to come out such a more settled person after this is over. I first mentioned drug court because it appears to me, from reading all your posts, his problems stem from drug issues at birth and possibly later. Wiseoldfool is RIGHT as drug court doesn't usually accept defendants with a violent history. As a criminal defense attorney I can tell you that drug court is one of the best pieces of legislation our state ever passed and it's helped so many people. If I were representing him and he had no history of violent crimes, I'd have a doctor and psychologist confirm and testify to the circumstances of his birth.

I think you are on the right path, encouraging him to take responsibility and also constantly assure him you will keep his son in your life and let him know about his Dad. I would think if he goes to prison, they provide ZOOM visits for prisoners and minor children now.

"Because I deserve better"

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Topic is Sleeping.
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