Pubdate: Sat, 01 Jun 2002
Source: Texas Monthly (TX)
Copyright: 2002 Texas Monthly, Inc.
Author:  Robert Sharpe, Mike Smithson
Webpage Reference: Print only


The questionable judgment on the part of the Dallas police officers who 
paid out $200,000 to a confidential informant accused of purchasing fake 
drugs should serve as a wake-up call [Texas Monthly Reporter: "Snow Job," 
April 2002]. The combination of informants culled form the criminal 
underworld and zealous drug warriors anxious to increase arrest stats is 
dangerous. Regardless of whether the defendant is actually guilty, the 
informant profits

if a conviction is made. This practice lends itself to entrapment and 
dishonest testimony. Notorious informant Andrew Chambers, whose promises to 
unsuspecting citizens of obscene amounts of cash for (presumably real) 
drugs earned him $2.2 million, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer, was 
ultimately found to have routinely committed perjury. In an age when 
Americans are using more prescription drugs than ever, including blatantly 
recreational drugs like Viagra, the war on some drugs threatens the 
integrity of the criminal justice system.

Robert Sharpe.  Program Officer

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.

"SNOW JOB" puts a spotlight on a Criminal 'justice system that has evoked 
into a monster grotesquely distorted by the war on drugs.

Our minimum-sentencing laws have filled our prisons with hundreds of 
thousands of nonviolent offenders, living without hope because parole is 
not available.

Law enforcement officers have resorted to "testi-lying," implicating a 
defendant in court when evidence is, well, lacking.

Good federal judges have declined to hear drug cases, specifically because 
they are opposed to the war on drugs.

One million people are arrested each year on drug charges, and we spend 
billions each year to support the war on drugs.

This is a jihad.

Thomas Sowell once said, "The difference between a crusade and a policy is 
that the policy is judged on its efficacy while the crusade, well, the 
crusade is judged by how good it makes the crusaders feel."

So crusade on, drug warriors, at least until the likes of the Dallas Police 
Department snare your kid too.


Syracuse, New York
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