Pubdate: Thu, 30 Jul 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Author: Gerald M. Sutliff


Milton Friedman pointed out over 25 years ago that prohibitionary laws are
at their core corrupting of law enforcement, the judicial system and society

Drug transactions between seller and buyer are consensual - neither makes
the complaint about the activity. Consequently, law enforcement authorities
resort to using informants to obtain convictions.

This leads inevitably to a point where, as was said by the 10th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals, "The judicial process is tainted and justice cheapened
when factual testimony is purchased, whether with leniency or money" ( "Loss
of plea deals perils war on crime," July 20).

The war on drugs would become nearly impossible should the 10th Circuit
decision stand. For that reason I am confident the decision will not. The
verbal contortions required to reverse the dead-on correct decision will
make interesting reading.

Gerald M. Sutliff Emeryville

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Checked-by: "Rolf Ernst"