I found this article, about a relatively typical situation, which happened to occur in LA. But the course described by the reporter is all-too-common in too many cities.
Too many of the players in the judical arm of the law have taken it as their personal crusade to do the minimum - shuffle cases around, make a feeble stab at prosecution, and whine that "they have no choice" but to make deals with criminals.
I'm not advocating for life sentences for small-time users. But we need to take dealing seriously, without hiding behind the excuse "it's his first offense". Generally, that just means, it's the first time he's been caught and couldn't bury the evidence.
How can we expect rehab to work when addicts are surrounded by the temptation every day of their life? I've been dieting, and I find it hard to resist when people bring in food for school functions.
Imagine the lure of truly addictive substances. Now imagine a life that can't take you more than a block from home without being confronted by the sweet siren call of drugs.
LA, like many cities, has given up. I'd like to see some follow-up to the story, about just who is profiting from the continued flow of drugs. Is someone getting a pay-off?
What I really despise is the lame excuses the prosecutors and judge gave:
If police felt so strongly about this particular case, Moore said, they should have made that clear from the beginning, and the district attorney's office might not have agreed to early disposition in the case. Munoz's defense attorney, Vivian Gray, agreed that this was a pretty standard disposition.Are they illiterate? The facts had to be in the record. They just didn't care enough to DO THEIR JOB.
The man who decided her client's fate, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horowitz, said he often doesn't even see the police reports and relies on recommendations worked out by the prosecutor and defense attorney. Although the judge couldn't recall the Munoz case specifically, he said he would have considered a stiffer sentence if he had known the amount of drugs and police manpower involved.
I found the reference on Knowledge is Power.