Pubdate: Sun, 12 Aug 2007
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Copyright: 2007 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Anthony Papa


To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

This is in response to the article, "Taconic drug appeal denied," of
July 27. I have been following this case very closely. I read your
piece and was totally amazed by the comments made by District Attorney
David Capeless in regards to Justice Brown's concurring decision.

Justice Brown correctly pointed out what was fundamentally wrong in
the decision to charge Mitchell Lawrence under the school-zone laws
that ultimately led to a two-year sentence for what equated to a one
joint worth of marijuana drug sale. Capeless's remarks starkly remind
me of the type of destructive behavior that was employed by Joseph
McCarthy in the 1950s when he went on a mission to destroy lives.

I want to remind Mr. Capeless that both the governor and attorney
general have said that there should be some type of revision to the
laws that put away Lawrence. In my view, he landed in jail not because
of the criminal charge he faced, but because of his refusal to
cooperate with Capeless in his attempt to lock up more people involved
in the sting operation.

The district attorney needs to realize that he can be both tough and
smart on crime at the same time, without running young people's lives
in the process of protecting the community.

Anthony Papa

New York, N.Y, August 4, 2007

The writer is communications specialist, Drug Policy Alliance.
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