Pubdate: Thu, 05 Dec 2013
Source: Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Copyright: 2013 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: John Duree


Re "Word of the law" by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R News, November 21):

Thanks for the interview with Todd Leras, candidate for Sacramento
district attorney.

I am a certified specialist in criminal law and a former prosecutor. I
have worked in our criminal-justice system for over 30 years.
Sacramento desperately needs a change from Jan Scully's rigid and
conservative practices toward the more reasonable and flexible
approach offered by Leras.

I represent many individuals charged with marijuana offenses that are
related to state medical-marijuana laws. The Sacramento DA's office,
under the Scully-Anne Marie Schubert administration, routinely
presents a grudging and aggressive approach to dealing with such
cases, as if they saw no difference between medical producers and
foreign cartels. They have taken positions in court that-if the court
actually adopted those positions-would eliminate dispensaries
completely. Fortunately, our courts have put a check on the district
attorney's aggressive views.

In other contexts, the Scully-Schubert "tough on crime" persona does
not fairly consider the individual circumstances that bear on the
ultimate question of what penalty will be imposed on offenders. There
is a wide spectrum of individuals who cross legal lines: No doubt some
need lengthy incarceration. On the other hand, all of them do not. The
ability to differentiate between the seriously bad and the not so bad,
who can learn a lesson and probably not re-offend, is the mark of a
good prosecutor. It has been missing in Sacramento County.

John Duree

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt