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U.S. Senator's Son Busted

By Glenn H. Early, Prisoner of the Drug War

Second term U.S. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama has recently found himself the parent of a drug offender. Claude Shelby, 32, was apprehended at Atlanta's Hartfield airport after arriving on a flight from London. With the help of dogs, Custom agents discovered 13.8 grams of hashish in his possession.

In response to his son's arrest, U.S.A. Today reported the Senator said, "We are shocked and saddened by the misdemeanor possession charge against my son and I will stand by him through this difficult ordeal."


Fortunately for young Shelby and his family, he was allowed to pay a mere $500 administrative penalty to Customs officials before he was turned over to county sheriffs for possible state prosecution.

Do not read this the wrong way. Shelby appears to have been treated fairly and it is the juxtaposition between those individuals of power and influence and the average citizen that screams of injustice. Self-righteous people of politics who decry drug use and promote laws and sentences in the drug war, appear to expect that those same laws do not apply to them or to their offspring.

Senator Shelby probably understands the truth behind the impossible task the government has taken on in its battle on consensual drug use. Perhaps someday consideration will be granted to us "average Americans," who now find ourselves prisoners of the drug war.


Jerry Lundy sent us a sample letter that he suggests that family, friends and prisoners send their members of Congress regarding the case of Shelby's son. We have made a few modifications to Jerry's letter and do encourage all our members to write a letter today.

Dear Senator __________,

Today I read with interest the case of Senator Shelby's son who was found in possession of 13.8 grams of hashish after entering the U.S. from London at an international airport. Claude Shelby was released from federal custody after being fined $500. He was turned over to the county but to my knowledge no federal charges have been filed against him.

Can you tell me why Senator Shelby and his family are immune to federal laws? Why are laws that senators freely pass unacceptable to them and their family members­­but good for everyone else?

If people are sent to prison when no drugs are found, how is Claude Shelby free when he was in possession of them? Please take the time to explain to me how it is that people are being incarcerated for 20 and 30 years and even life when no drugs are found, but a senator's son walks free with a misdemeanor charge that is punishable with a $500 fine?



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