Pubdate: Thu, 17 Feb 2005
Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY)
Copyright: 2005 Lexington Herald-Leader
Author: Doug Sizemore
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)


After reading Robert Abell's Feb. 14 commentary, "Congress must fix 
inequitable drug sentences," one has to agree that our drug laws are 
harsher for minority users than white upper-class users.

Something should be done about that. Let's make them equally harsh. Then 
let's see what happens if a Hollywood or Nashville star gets 20-plus years 
of hard time for a drug offense.

The question then occurs: What are these people doing to get these long 
sentences? Is it just for the drug use, not when they rob, steal or murder 
someone in the process of getting money to feed their habit?

As far as I am concerned, if they harm an unwilling other, throw them under 
the jail and melt the key.

But if it is just drug use, can you tell me why we believe these people 
should be treated like murderers?

Stupid, they are. Worthless, you bet. But where is the crime? To one's 
self? Can we say it is illegal to commit a crime against yourself, or to be 
stupid and worthless? Who is to be the judge of that?

Are American citizens the worst people in the industrial western world and 
need to be locked up? Is that what we believe?

Or could it be we have a government that has run amuck, and has forgotten 
the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights?

Look at the numbers in prison and let me know.

Doug Sizemore

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