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I Got Published!

June 3, 2007 - Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)

Stop Snitchin' Movement

Face It - Drug War Has Been A Disaster

By Edrea Davis, author of Snitchcraft

In light of the developments in the Kathryn Johnston case, Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington picked a bad time to advocate for trusting the police and to blame their reliance on informants on a "no-snitch" campaign.

Using paid snitches instead of trained police appears to have more to do with circumventing constitutional rights than a "no-snitch" movement.

Cases chronicled on -- the Web site of The November Coalition, a nonprofit organization working to end drug war injustice - reveal that informant's are an overused tool in the drug war, which, like the war on terror, is a major catastrophe.

It has cultivated a cadre of dishonest snitches and overzealous cops resulting in mounting distrust of police.

Ideally, we'd like murders prevented.

Rather than blame a "no-snitch" code, Pennington and officials across the country should admit that focusing on petty criminals has allowed violent crimes to skyrocket, created a rift between police and the community, and done nothing to stop the proliferation of drug use.

Edrea Davis, Atlanta, GA

May 12, 2006 - Arizona Daily Star

Why Not Take Case Into Courtroom?

Re: the April 29 article "Limbaugh Strikes Deal On Drug Count."

Whatever happened to Rush Limbaugh's position that people should obey the law, and people who don't should be punished?

If Limbaugh really wasn't guilty, as he claims, then why didn't he just go to trial and prove it?

I can understand Limbaugh's addiction. How else could he bear to listen to himself?

Charles Crehore, Tucson, AZ

January 18, 2007 - Spartanburg Herald-Journal (SC)

Mandatory Sentencing

Hurray for your stand in Sunday's editorial on the federal mandatory sentencing law. I agree that the law needs to be changed.

First, the law is unjust. The law gives long harsh sentences to nonviolent drug offenders. Less punishment is often given to more violent crimes of rape and murder.

Second, the law does not consider the individual. The law punishes each person the same. The punishment should fit the person and the crime. The person's value to the community is not considered.

Third, the federal sentencing law is costly. The Bureau of Justice Statistics report in 2005 staes that the total number of people in prison was 2.2 million. The taxpayer pays the bill for this increase.

Finally, the cost has hit an all-time high. You pay $23,000 a year to jail each nonviolent prisoner and only $8,554 to educate one child (Bureau of Prisons, 2005; National Education Association, 2005).

The wheels of justice need to turn. Our politicians need to reform this unjust law.

Eva Poteat, Spartanburg

Correctional Forum - September 2004 Issue

Re: "Slowing The Revolving Door: The Success Of Drug Courts":

I am writing to strongly encourage the Pennsylvania Prison Society to deeply investigate and oppose SM129/PN147 - the drug court bill.

While I truly did benefit from the treatment I received in drug court for over two years, I am forced to regret taking the program, as are the majority of former participants.

Most "clients" fail the drug court program in Erie, and invariably end up with much more severe sentences than they would have received had they not taken the program, leading one to suspect the program is a means of coercing guilty pleas from defendants.

In order to enter the drug court, I had to plead guilty to multiple felonies, so that I entered the program with 55 years of probation. Several clients entered with over 100 years of probation!

The drug court program was unrealistically and impossibly strict; an abstinence-based program built on that Reaganite phrase "zero tolerance". You can't frighten, threaten and terrorize a drug addict with low self-esteem into respecting himself or herself and the law. I attended three different rehabs and two halfway houses and by no means am I only speaking for myself. Treatment and punishment do not work together and I doubt they ever will.

Drug courts seem to me to be a coercive way of obtaining guilty pleas under false pretenses, a way of putting non-violent drug offenders under the criminal "supervision" apparatus of the state for decades and a way for dying Rust-Belt communities to spend state and federal dollars as an extension of the penal system under the guise of compassionate "treatment."

Jeremy D. Fowler

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