ST. LOUIS -- Former St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton
claims he has been a "perfect" prisoner and should be allowed to
transfer to his native Canada to serve out a prison sentence for a
failed attempt to have his agent killed.
In a two-page letter released to the news media Wednesday,
Danton questioned a decision issued by the Justice Department last
month to keep him in the United States. Authorities said Danton's
crime was too severe, and that giving him a transfer would "not
serve the ends of justice."
Danton, 25, was sentenced in 2004 to 7½ years after pleading
guilty to murder conspiracy charges. He has not said who the target
of the plot was, but prosecutors say he tried to have his agent,
David Frost, killed. The FBI was told of the plot and Frost was not
Danton, who was with the Blues for only one season, has said he
wants to be sent to Canada to get surgery for a shoulder injury and
therapy for what his sentencing request called his "grave mental
The Justice Department unit that evaluates such transfers said
Danton has to wait two years to reapply, and can improve his chance
by being a model prisoner.
"My prison record, as they call it, has been perfect," Danton
wrote in the letter from the low-security prison in Fort Dix, N.J.
"I have made as much progress as I could with my psychologist
regarding my psychological disorders."
Danton said he's tutoring other inmates and studying French and
computer courses. He also said in the letter that he wanted to
pursue a "loving, productive family environment" in Canada,
although Danton is estranged from his mother and father.
His attorney, Howard O. Kieffer, from Santa Ana, Calif., said
Wednesday: "People have taken the word 'family' too literally. It
doesn't mean his father. It doesn't necessarily mean Frost. The
point is, he's got a community there."
Danton sued the U.S. government last November, saying he should
be transferred to Canada, in part because "similarly situated
applicants have been approved for removal to their home nations,
which include Canada." Danton asked to be resentenced.
The Justice Department replied that Danton waived his right to
appeal by pleading guilty in July 2004 to orchestrating a
conspiracy to commit an interstate killing. The government also has
said no regulations require action on international transfers
within a specified time, and that Danton's plea deal required that
he be considered for a transfer but did not guarantee one.