Pubdate: Mon, 18 Jul 2011
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2011 Star Advertiser
Author: John Cheever


I've seen three news items recently that have left me scratching my
head about our criminal justice system.

Laurie Temple wrote about how 60 percent of drug offenders in Hawaii
are busted for non-violent crimes such as possession ("The failed drug
war: Time to change tactics," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, June

More recently, a drug bust was reported in which the 25 pounds of
marijuana found would likely get the offenders 20 years in prison.

And then on July 3 we learned about a convicted sex offender -- whose
first conviction was for sexually assaulting minors in 1995 -- being
sentenced to 10 years in prison for another sexual assault. Given the
previous example, does that sound like the punishment fits the crime,
especially for a repeat offender?

Whether marijuana should be legalized is a topic for other letters,
but if our policymakers are supposed to be protecting us through the
laws they pass, then we have some serious thinking to do about the way
we exercise the fundamental principle of justice.

John Cheever 

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.