Pubdate: Thu, 07 Feb 2008
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2008 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Lee Monnet


On Jan. 31, we were shocked at the news of a horrific knife assault on
a Massena man. The alleged assailant was on probation for other
violent assaults when he committed another crime so heinous it chills
the body and mind.

With the increase of law-enforcement personnel in Northern New York
one would think violent criminals would be removed from our streets
for a very long time or permanently. The FBI Uniform Crime Report of
September 2007 gives insight as to where the focus of law-enforcement
actually is.

According to the report in 2006 (829,629) people were arrested for
marijuana offenses in the U.S., 89 percent were for possession only.
The total number of marijuana arrests far exceeded the total number
arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder,
manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

In light of this brutal crime, I feel society would be much better
served if law-enforcement, the courts and prisons were free from the
burden of nonviolent drug offenders clogging the system. This effort
is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources which diverts
law-enforcement from making arrests, district attorneys from timely
prosecutions, and valuable prison cells that should be used to
accommodate these violent criminals.

Lee Monnet

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