Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 2015
Source: Express-Times, The (PA)
Copyright: 2015 The Express-Times
Author: David Rose


I received the "District Attorney's Drug Task Force Newsletter" and 
noticed the fact that it was paid for by drug forfeiture money, not 
taxpayer dollars. Considering this "newsletter" is largely an account 
of activities of District Attorney John Morganelli, I had the thought 
the "war on drugs" might be just a cover to fund the re-election 
campaigns of district attorneys.

While I do not want to question the sincerity of the district 
attorney in informing us about initiatives that are "keeping your 
community safe," we need to keep in mind the war on drugs is largely 
a failed public policy that has led to massive incarceration of 
nonviolent offenders, disproportionately targets minorities and the 
poor, and cost the taxpayer an estimated $15 billion in 2010. When an 
elected government official finds an unlimited amount of money from 
drug forfeiture to fund what should be considered an election 
campaign expense, we can be sure we'll never hear any comment from 
him about the failures or cost to taxpayers of such a policy.

Morganelli recently expressed his opposition to a moratorium on 
executions pending a study of the death penalty, saying there is no 
need for another study since one was commissioned by the state 
Supreme Court in 2003, and he proudly served on the commission. He 
didn't mention that the study, the "Supreme Court Commission on 
Racial and Gender Bias in the Criminal Justice System," recommended a 
moratorium on executions until problems noted in the report were addressed.

Morganelli supported Tom Wolfe for governor. It will be interesting 
to see how he responds to Wolf's support of a moratorium on executions.

David Rose

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