Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jun 2005
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Copyright: 2005 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Andy  Matlow


To the Editor of The Egale:

Due to limited time and money, it is impossible to prosecute and send every
criminal offender to prison. It is the responsibility of our district
attorney to use his discretion in choosing which crimes require jail time
that will make  our community safer. Therefore, it is of the utmost
importance to make those  choices wisely.

Is selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a basement day care center
closed for the summer more dangerous than selling crack cocaine,
battering someone or driving while intoxicated for the second or third
time? I often read about those  offenses bringing suspended sentences.

There's just so much space in our jails. I'd rather see them filled
with dangerous criminals than non-violent young people experimenting
with drugs. Drug abuse is an important issue. However, prosecuting
first offenders to the full extent of an unfair, ineffective law
doesn't serve society well. Community service and drug education are
more constructive for all concerned than mandatory two-year state
prison sentences.

Which crimes should take up our DA's time and our taxpayers' money? If
David Capeless cannot distinguish the serious difference between
violence and experimenting with marijuana, then he needs to be
replaced by someone who can

Andy  Matlow

Great Barrington
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