Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jun 2005
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Copyright: 2005 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Wendy  Rosenberg


To the Editor of THE EAGLE:- As a frequent visitor to the area, I am aghast 
at some of the comments I've been reading about the downtown parking lot 
sting in Great Barrington. My understanding of the underlying facts is that 
some of the young people are accused of selling very small amounts of 
marijuana in a school zone. The school in question is a preschool in the 
basement of a church across Route 7, behind a block of stores. No children 
were ever approached or endangered - school was not even in session. In 
fact, an adult undercover police officer initiated each transaction.

The application of the school zone penalty seems to be a misuse of the 
intent of the law. Prosecutorial discretion is an option. A minimum of two 
years in jail is not an appropriate punishment for these young people. 
Who  hasn't done something regrettably foolish and still gone on to lead a 
productive  life? Shouldn't jail always be the last resort for first time 
nonviolent offenders? Let's seek alternative punishments that are 
constructive rather than destructive.

WENDY ROSENBERG, Craryville, N.Y., June 3, 2005
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