Pubdate: Wed, 13 Aug 2003
Source: Watauga Democrat (NC)
Copyright: 2003 Appalachian Technologies, Inc.
Author: Ian Mance


Editor: In response to Ben Edwards' letter in July 28th's Watauga Democrat, I
would like to acknowledge that I do, indeed, "recognize that the offense"
Martin Dwayne Miller has been charged with "is not merely producing an illegal
narcotic." I am fully aware of the danger meth labs pose to our community, and
yet I am still just as adamantly against this unjust prosecution as I was two
weeks ago.

This prosecution undeniably undermines the intent of the N.C . legislature by
misapplying a law intended to target terrorists to take aim at meth cookers.

District Attorney Jerry Wilson is unashamedly playing politics with Mr.
Miller's freedom - his very life - in an attempt to not only earn himself press
coverage, but more importantly, prosecutorial leverage when the time comes for
the inevitable plea bargain.

Mr. Edwards contends that Wilson's charge "may seem extreme, but is surely
preferable" to the more traditional (and I would argue, appropriate) charges.

While it is surely a matter of opinion, I would strongly disagree. And with the
risk of alienating many of your readers with what will surely be characterized
as a "soft on drugs" outlook, I dare say again that I think it is simply
inappropriate, and indeed unconscionable, to take a man's life - because, let's
not kid ourselves, that's precisely what is at stake here with a potential life
sentence - over the manufacturing of narcotics.

Have we, as a community, become so blinded by Mr. Wilson's drug war rhetoric
that we are willing to sit idly by and risk watching a man indefinitely lose
his freedom to what is undeniably a political prosecution? Mr. Wilson should do
the moral thing and charge Mr. Miller appropriately.

Ian Mance


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