Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jul 2002
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2002 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Glenn Backes, and Sharon Baker


Re "Prosecutorial excess?" editorial, June 19: I appreciated the editorial 
on the injustice of giving first-time drug offenders 10-year sentences 
under the Draconian federal mandatory minimum sentencing regime. It is well 
past time to reform our drug sentencing scheme to return sentencing 
decisions to the judges, so that the time can fit the crime; and to make 
the criteria for sentencing be based, at least in part, on how much profit 
the offender was likely to enjoy from his role in drug trafficking, so that 
low-level "mules" and girlfriends of drug dealers aren't locked away for 
most of their adult lives while authentic kingpins are allowed to walk.

- - Glenn Backes, MSW, MPH, Sacramento Director, California Capital Office, 
Drug Policy Alliance



Re "Modesto settles suit in child's death," June 20: Am I the only one who 
thinks that the parents of the boy who was accidentally shot by the police 
in a drug raid should not be given a settlement of more than $2.5 million? 
There is no doubt that this boy's death was a tragic incident. However, his 
father put him in danger by selling drugs. The blame for this tragedy is 
clearly his, but instead he gets a reward. This does not make sense.

- - Sharon Baker, Roseville
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