Pubdate: Sat, 08 Sep 2007
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Jonathan Simon


Editor - I'm appalled that the Jaxon Van Derbeken's front page story 
implies that the best answer to persistent petty offenders is to kill them.

In addition to rationalizing the murder of a citizen who apparently 
never hurt anyone physically, the "editorial" for longer prison 
sentences masquerading as a news story, contains little more than a 
series of unchallenged quotes from prosecutors about how hard it is 
to get petty criminals sent to state prison. Given that our state 
prisons now contain nearly 180,000 people, and are under court order 
as unconstitutionally overcrowded and mismanaged, it is hard to see 
how sending more drug addicted petty criminals there would help anything.

There is another way. End the senseless, brutal, and totally 
ineffective 40-year-old "war on drugs." With a legal but robustly 
regulated market the Allen Broussard's of this world would have less 
need for breaking into automobiles and more chance of getting help 
with there addictions.

Jonathan Simon

Professor of Law

U. C. Berkeley, School of Law

- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake