Pubdate: Sat, 24 Sep 2005
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Copyright: 2005 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Mary Hart


I find the prosecution of Kyle Sawin (and the other six defendants) 
using a mandatory school-zone drug charge to be extreme overkill. The 
seven boys accused of selling small amounts of marijuana deserve to 
have a fair, thoughtful trial with sensible consequences.

What would be sensible? How about community service, probation, drug 
counseling, etc.? In addition, I live in South County and have never, 
ever considered the downtown parking lot to be a school zone. I would 
contend that none of these boys knew that either. They were not 
standing in front of Searles Middle School selling pot to 12-year-olds.

District Attorney David Capeless can at any time during this trial 
lower the charges to not include the school-zone charge that carries 
the two-year mandatory sentence. Lowering the charge would also give 
the judge the option of sentencing these boys to appropriate 
punishments, if found guilty. The real sadness of this is that we all 
make mistakes and most of us have gone on to be great assets to our 
communities. Two years in jail will do nothing to help these boys or 
others caught in the mandatory laws.


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