Pubdate: Mon,  9 Sep 2002
Source: North County Times (CA)
Contact:  2002 North County Times
Author: Laurel Eve Kaskurs
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)
(Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act)


When it comes to crimes involving drugs and domestic violence, Proposition
36 and domestic violence treatment programs are a giant step forward.
Although flawed, statistics clearly prove the success of these programs.

To say the offender is getting off easy under these programs is wrong.
Spending every Saturday for 52 weeks at one's own expense in a three-hour
class focused on managing anger is far more difficult than spending the same
time in a cell at taxpayers' expense. If nothing else, you'll walk away less
likely to reoffend for fear of repeating the class. 

As for drugs, will we ever admit that 93 percent of the time, this is a
victimless crime? To give someone a third strike because he did a little
business on the side to feed his family is cruel and unusual punishment,
which is banned by the Eighth Amendment. By imprisoning the family
breadwinner, we pay both his rent at the penitentiary and his family's rent,
forced onto welfare.

Everyone's worse off than before, except for District Attorney Paul Pfingst,
with his so-called success rate, which is about as morally twisted as our
three-strikes law.

Isn't there something sadistic about a person so eager to see members of his
own team strike out, believing that conviction equals success? 

Laurel Eve Kaskurs

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