Pubdate: Fri, 25 May 2001
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Section: Nation / World, page 22
Copyright: 2001, The Tribune Co.
Author: John Chase, Palm Harbor


Regarding three letters of May 21 complaining of the mild sentences given 
to Darryl Strawberry by a drug court judge:

Not surprising that some readers don't agree with the drug court judge. 
They have been conditioned to believe that our problems can be cured by 
mandatory sentencing laws and messages of retribution and vengeance. 
Doesn't work; at least it hasn't in the 28 years we have been trying.

Drug courts are intended to find new ways to rehabilitate low-level drug 
offenders through sentences other than prison. Drug court judges will 
continue to take the heat for these novel decisions. Our politicians should 
support them and not backslide to the useless tough-on-drugs rhetoric of 
the past.

John Chase
Palm Harbor
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