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Before the women ever met, Uhlmann told Chantal what to do about her marriage.
"I said, 'The first thing is, you've got to divorce William. You've got to divorce this man. The reason you are in prison is because of him. Point blank. Case closed. He never once, to his lawyers or the prosecutors or the judge or anyone, said, 'This is my business. My wife had nothing to do with it. She signed documents at my direction and I will take whatever punishment you want, but what do we have to do to make sure she doesn't get pulled down with me?'"
Uhlmann asked Chantal whether she was willing to divorce McCorkle. "She wrote back and she said, 'I've been knowing in my heart this is coming. I've been preparing myself for this. Yes. I'm ready to do it.' So then I said, 'Okay, we have to figure out a plan of action. We have to set a goal and figure out how we get there.'"
At the end of July of this year, Uhlmann flew to Florida to visit Fischbach, but they weren't able to get into the federal prison in Tallahassee. Chantal still had not met Uhlmann in person, but that didn't deter her from seeking Uhlmann's approval on how to sever her marital ties. Chantal's diary entry from July 27 reads: "At 9 a.m., I had called Deb's and spoke with Sally.... I read her the letter I wrote to Wm. And she said it sounded good and to send it out.... I sent the letter to Wm. And I feel scared. I hate to hurt anyone ... today I took off my wedding ring also. Oh, Lord, I pray I am doing the right thing, please help me, Lord!"
Uhlmann and Fischbach went through more court files. Uhlmann decided that they had to aim for a presidential pardon, since McCorkle had been sentenced under federal mandatory minimums and only a small percentage of those cases get overturned on appeal.
"I told Chantal that everything needs a mission statement -- one sentence that sums up what you're all about. So, I said, our mission statement is to focus on the five P's: to position yourself with the public and the press to gain a presidential pardon. I just realized that really, her hope is a presidential pardon. And the Dalai Lama, his Holiness the Dalai Lama, says something so profound. He says if Tibet will ever be free of Chinese occupation, it will be because of the American women. He says there is no force on earth as strong, as powerful as American women. It's fantastic, but it's also very, very true."
By the time Uhlmann left Florida, she was behind the cause.
"I had come from a point of being so negative toward Chantal and so skeptical of the whole thing, to the point of being so hooked in and realizing that her case epitomizes so many of the wrongs and injustices in our country -- so many of the abuses from the government, of taxpayers' dollars, of efforts and energy."