Pubdate: Fri, 25 Aug 2000
Date: 08/25/2000
Source: Texas Observer (TX)
Author: Richard Boran

Nate Blakeslee's article on the roundup of African Americans in Tulia
("Color of Justice," June 23), Texas was a stunning piece of
investigative journalism.  The phony war on drugs destroyed dozens of
people's lives in Texas just to fuel the prison industrial complex and
to make some politician look good.  Blakeslee completely exposed the
criminal justice system's unscrupulous methods including using an
undercover agent who himself deserves to be behind bars. Now the same
undercover agent is on the loose somewhere in East Texas preying on
new victims.  The jails and prisons of our nation are full of folks
like the poor blacks of Tulia whom our society treats as expendables.
They don't have a shot at justice.  The deck is totally stacked
against them.  If we continue to ignore the injustices of our criminal
justice system we all become accomplices.  New prisons are being built
about as fast as McDonald's restaurants.  The U.S. just passed the two
million mark for the number of people incarcerated.  I hope some media
group out there has enough sense to give Blakeslee an award for this

Richard Boren,
Tucson, Arizona