Pubdate: Wed, 08 Dec 1999
Source: Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
Copyright: 1999 St. Paul Pioneer Press
Contact:  345 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55101
Author: James Dale, Stillwater, MN
Note: The author is an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility


There has been a lot of media coverage concerning the Anoka County
Sheriff's Department treatment of Sen. Rod Grams' son. I've had many
run-ins with the law, and the way Grams' son was treated was not standard
police procedure.

If I, or even a person without prior felony convictions, were pulled over
in an overdue rental car, driving without a driver's license, they would
not be taken home. If police found nine bags of marijuana on the passenger,
another under the seat and an open container of alcohol, both the driver
and the passenger would be taken into custody.

Charges likely would be filed against both.

I don't fault Grams for asking the police to find his son. He did what any
loving parent would do. [But] I don't believe for one minute that Morgan
Grams wasn't given preferential treatment because he was Grams' son. The
courts must follow mandatory drug sentences.

Inmates know there are two ways to get out of serving a mandatory sentence.

One is to have a high-priced attorney who knows all the loopholes and delay

The other way is to turn state's evidence.

Now there may possibly be a third way to get out of a mandatory minimum
drug sentence: Claim you're the son or daughter of a U.S. senator.

I'll be getting out of prison soon, and I am thinking of changing my name
to Rod Grams Jr. That way, the next time I get caught committing a felony,
the police will be so kind as to give me a ride home instead of taking me
to jail.
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