Pubdate: Mon, 14 Oct 2002
Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ)
Copyright: 2002 Pulitzer Publishing Co.
Author: Bob Ryan


Re: the Oct.10 article "UA med student leaves prison."

I fully support the decision by Gov. Jane Hull to commute Scott Brannan's 
sentence to time served and allow him to continue his medical studies.

In reading the list of parties appealing to the governor on Brannan's 
behalf, I couldn't help wondering about the hundreds of Arizonans who are 
not well-connected and will not get their cases reviewed by the governor or 
anyone else, for that matter.

The fact is that hundreds of people in this state, and thousands 
nationwide, are wasting their lives in prison for crimes very similar to 

Your article seemed to indicate that this decision was acceptable because 
of Brannan's academic achievement and ability to benefit society upon 
earning his medical degree.

I submit that many of the other men and women behind bars for similar 
crimes could also become contributing citizens if given the opportunity.

It's time we recognize that putting so many people in jail for drug- 
related crimes is a terrible waste of human resources and taxpayers' money.

If we spent one dollar in elementary, middle and high school drug awareness 
programs for each dollar we spend housing inmates, we could solve this 
epidemic in relatively short order.

Bob Ryan

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