Pubdate: Mon, 29 Aug 2005
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Copyright: 2005 Sun-Sentinel Company
Author: Donald Sheldon


The tragedy in Sunrise in which a young man, Anthony Diotaiuto, age 23, was
brutally shot to death in his home by police, brings into focus the greater
tragedy that is played out daily in our current "drug war." Tragedies like
this, arguably to a lesser dramatic extent, are played out daily in our
courts and in our police stations at all levels of law enforcement.

This prohibition by another name daily locks up 4,000 of our young people.
These are mostly young black and Hispanic males and they are forced into
what amounts to legalized slavery for an average of seven years to be
followed by "supervised release" for anywhere from five years to life. These
young men lose their citizenship rights, including their right to vote and
most never fully recover their rights.

Let me address the unintended tragedy that the society is also imposing on
the people who are sworn to uphold the law. This includes the police like
the young men who actually fired the 10 shots that killed Anthony Diotaiuto,
to the very president of the United States. It also extends to all of us for
we are all accountable for the terror that is wrought under the flag of
"law," which we tacitly approve of by our lack of action to get this
abomination ended.

Before we condemn any police officer we need to look in the mirror and see
who and what we see. Prohibition is a failed policy and it failed our
grandparents before us. By many accounts, Prohibition caused the greatest
crime wave in the country's history.

The "first responders" may make mistakes when enforcing the law, however,
they will never make a mistake enforcing laws that have been removed from
their responsibility to enforce.

Let us understand that the Sunrise tragedy represents a watershed that will
give us the opportunity to see both sides of this equation. The young men
who committed murder at the behest of society and the young citizen who was
executed for less that 2 ounces of a substance made illegal by a wrong
thinking prohibition are equally victims.

We must end the "drug war" and send the POWs home with all their citizenship
rights reinstated. This is the only solution to the drug problem. We must
also educate our people to the tragic consequences of drug use and abuse.

Please visit our Website at for more information on this and
other subjects.

Donald Sheldon, Chairman, Libertarian Party of Broward County, Hollywood,
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