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The War on Drugs - and the results of it A war against drugs, or against families?

View Poll Results: Do you think the that first-time felon drug charges should be thrown in prison?
Yes 55 6.96%
No 735 93.04%
Voters: 790. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51  
Old 03-29-2007, 08:08 PM
angelcherished angelcherished is offline
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they have a law here in maryland for rehab before jail...but my husband got 15yr. w/ 7 1/2 sus. for his first drug offense... the judge denied his evaluation even though he admitted in court he had a problem.
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  #52  
Old 04-19-2007, 09:06 AM
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I think that each drug case should be looked at on an individual basis,and certain factors taken into consideration,before deciding on punishment.
As far as 1st time small amount possession shouldn't go to prison,if that is all they are guilty of but meth manufacturers, i beleive they know from the very beginning,that what they are doing is creating a drug with intent to sell it,to any and every body with anything of value and don't care whose lives they destroy,all they care about is their pockets lined with gold,
but like i said,really i don't think for the most part,that they should be given a long sentence,for a 1st time offense,and have a nonviolent background,i think drug screens,and classes,etc.helps more all the way around.
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  #53  
Old 05-18-2007, 11:02 AM
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I don't believe prison is the answer for first time offenders or the mandatory sentencing. My daughter let a person stay with her who was selling drugs. When a very violent search was made of her house, this person was caught with the drugs on him. Her personal property was destroyed, her children terrified and no futher drugs were found. He recieved 5 years probation for implicating my daughter and she got 41 months. Two months into his probation he was caught with over $10,000 in cash, 2 guns and all kinds of drugs including crack.
Where is the fairness in that? I know she was doing wrong by letting someone into her home who was selling drugs but to give the drug dealer a better deal is hard to swallow. I sat in the courtroom as she told the judge about how she benifited from this person's drug money. Her cable bill was paid for 1 month. She didn't even see one tranaction. The police even admitted that she was never seen selling or buying any type of drug. Yet she recieved the stiffer sentence. Where is the JUSTCE in that? The day she was sentenced the judge had to ask the Federal Marsalls if she could hug her sons as she had had no physical contact with them in over 10 months.

How is this helping society? My grandsons have their mother taken away for almost 4 years. Society is burdened with housing her and providing support for her sons. Who is this helping?
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  #54  
Old 05-18-2007, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BT'S LIL SIS
I think that each drug case should be looked at on an individual basis,and certain factors taken into consideration,before deciding on punishment.
As far as 1st time small amount possession shouldn't go to prison,if that is all they are guilty of but meth manufacturers, i beleive they know from the very beginning,that what they are doing is creating a drug with intent to sell it,to any and every body with anything of value and don't care whose lives they destroy,all they care about is their pockets lined with gold,
but like i said,really i don't think for the most part,that they should be given a long sentence,for a 1st time offense,and have a nonviolent background,i think drug screens,and classes,etc.helps more all the way around.
My 22 year old son was giving Federal time for a first time nonvolent drug offense while the person that got him hooked on Meth is still out there.
He couldnt give up names where they could.
Bad as this sounds my son is so thankful because like he said he would be dead by now.
He also went to rehab for 45 days and said that he wishes that he could stay there because it helped him so much
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  #55  
Old 05-18-2007, 01:32 PM
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My husband was renting a building to a man to store personal items(what he told us)but then the law comes and locks my husband up for operating a meth lab.He is now serving time on a 20 do 12 sentence and I have 10 yrs. probation and a 3500.00 fine.All of this because the building was on our property.I was never arrested and booked on any charges but was indicted by the grand jury and that was the first time I have ever been in trouble.My husband had never been in trouble for drugs before he had 1 DUI about 20 yrs ago.The guy renting the building was out on parole for meth charges when this happened(we were unaware of that fact until this happened).In my opinion the courts are very harsh,unjust and unfair in doling out sentences.In situations like this it is very hard to believe in and respect our judicial system.I'm all for rehabilitation and helping a person to do better and learn from their mistakes but how do you justify putting a person in prison for that many years and exactly what is he suppose to rehabilitate from?Trusting another person?
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  #56  
Old 05-20-2007, 05:34 AM
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Default Prop 36 in California

Here in Cali we have something called prop 36 ...... its for 1st and 2nd (sometimes 3rd) drug offenders ..... I am not a in no way a legal expert, I only know about this from my husband's and my friends' experiences ..... prop 36 is available to 1st and 2nd time drug offenders when there were no other felonies commited at the same time. As long as they are only being charged with posession, not posession with intent to sell, instead of jail time they are orderd to attend drug classes (I think on a weekly basis) for 1 year and I believe they are put on probation for 3yrs (could only be 1yr, I dont remeber). NO JAIL/PRIOSN TIME ....... I think it is a wonderful thing ....... rehabilitation is the key.

I am not sure what it is called, but our lawyer told me that there is something else for 1st time drug offenders with out prior offences (not sure if priors applies to prior drug offences or any sort of criminal record). This option offers offenders 1year of drug classes as well as 1year of probation. Once your fines have been paid, classes completed and probation is finished, that drug offence is expunged ..... it's like it never happened.

I thought it was this way in every state ...... you guys should really push it in your states ...... I was reading that in Cali, 85% of the prison population are drug offeners - thats with prop 36 in action ....... Imagine with out ......
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  #57  
Old 05-20-2007, 08:16 AM
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Does this only apply to the state of Caifornia or all state my hubby is a first time offender doing 12 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting4luis
Here in Cali we have something called prop 36 ...... its for 1st and 2nd (sometimes 3rd) drug offenders ..... I am not a in no way a legal expert, I only know about this from my husband's and my friends' experiences ..... prop 36 is available to 1st and 2nd time drug offenders when there were no other felonies commited at the same time. As long as they are only being charged with posession, not posession with intent to sell, instead of jail time they are orderd to attend drug classes (I think on a weekly basis) for 1 year and I believe they are put on probation for 3yrs (could only be 1yr, I dont remeber). NO JAIL/PRIOSN TIME ....... I think it is a wonderful thing ....... rehabilitation is the key.

I am not sure what it is called, but our lawyer told me that there is something else for 1st time drug offenders with out prior offences (not sure if priors applies to prior drug offences or any sort of criminal record). This option offers offenders 1year of drug classes as well as 1year of probation. Once your fines have been paid, classes completed and probation is finished, that drug offence is expunged ..... it's like it never happened.

I thought it was this way in every state ...... you guys should really push it in your states ...... I was reading that in Cali, 85% of the prison population are drug offeners - thats with prop 36 in action ....... Imagine with out ......
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  #58  
Old 05-20-2007, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlg_0720
Does this only apply to the state of Caifornia or all state my hubby is a first time offender doing 12 years
I was under the impression it was the same for each state, but from what I have read in this thread, it seems like California is one of very few, if not the only state. Doesnt make much sence, considering the great results we have gotten.
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  #59  
Old 05-24-2007, 11:00 AM
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This is a really touchy subject. I have to agree with both sides. Even though my wife is in for a drug related offense I do not totaly agree with just letting someone off even first time with just probation. I do however think this mandatory sentencing and the lengths of sentencing be handed down is rediculous. I think if we could find someone to help take this to the politicians and present it; it would be easier to convince them of just lowering the minimums for first time offenses instead of dropping time all together. I just wish we had someone that could tell us where to begin and point us in the right direction.
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  #60  
Old 06-01-2007, 05:47 AM
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Here in Oregon the law (Chapter 475) in the Oregon Revised Statutes is worded so that, at least in practice, manufacturing, distribution and simple possession of any controlled substance are one and the same.

For instance, if you were to possess 10.5 grams of meth, you will face a manufacturing charge, because the line is drawn for possession at 10 grams. Although you didn't have chemicals, paraphernelia or any mixtures or extractions in your possession, it is simply possession of over the limit of 10 grams that allows them to charge and convict you of manufacturing. Deceiving isn't it?

Also, if you were to possess, say, 1 gram of meth, but put half of that in another bag or container for later, you could easily be charged and convicted of distribution for consideration especially if you had your rent money with you at the time you were busted.

There are several legal maneuvers that aid in playing musical convictions with these three particular crimes.

Possession, Distribution and Manufacturing are used almost interchangeably in Oregon, so that when you look at an Oregonian's criminal record and see a "manufacturing" conviction, you may really be looking at a possession, and not the more dangerous manufacturing, (i.e running a lab, or cooking meth).

But in Oregon you can never tell by looking. So landlords deny applicants housing thinking that they had been busted for running a meth lab in someone's house. The landlord's reaction is understandable, he's protecting his asset--it's the LAW that should be clarified so that this and other mistakes don't happen. Having a little dope for your own personal use is a long way from turning your house into a potential bomb, where people can get hurt in an explosion, or by the chemical residue that is left.

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  #61  
Old 06-11-2007, 05:17 AM
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I voted no. I feel that if first time offenders are going to have to do jail or prison time it should be determined by the weight of drugs they were caught with and the class of drug. That said I also think that sentences should not exceed 5 years for any first time drug offence, this includes probatin time. And for anyone who has done time you know that time in a county jail is widely considered hard time, therefore I feel that any first time offender being required to serve time in a county jail serve no less then four months (120 days) and no more then one year (365 days). After which they should be released on probation that requires drug testing, and some kind of support program, and possibly rehab depending on the circumstances. I say this because like it or not, admit it or not more then half of the people out there selling drugs are themselves addicted and using. The money they make from a drug sell generally ends up going to buy more drugs for their personal use. It's a vicious cycle, but it is a fact.
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  #62  
Old 06-11-2007, 10:40 AM
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I don't believe drug possession, on a first offense, should be a felony. I'm talking about simple personal possession--having a reasonable amount in your pocket (and I don't care where you're standing while you have it) or on your coffee table while minding your own business. If someone is transporting a van load of drugs or selling them to kids, clearly the intent is entirely different and the offense is very different.

Fact is that most people who are caught for the first time "holding" are addicts. This is someone with an illness, who has most likely not harmed anyone (yet). Give that person the tools needed to get and stay clean if s/he wants them, along with a period of supervision. Community service might work wonders--the first thing any addict needs is a way to stay busy and find something to think about other than the addiction.

That's giving someone a "second chance". If they fail to take it, I'd have to say that a harsher "lesson" is in order. Some of us do have thick skulls and it takes a pretty solid rap to get through them. And of course some people simply cannot or will not sort themselves out. But that's a matter for another thread.
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  #63  
Old 06-18-2007, 08:05 AM
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I would use caution with considering everyone who possesses drugs "addicts". First of all, as NA/AA proclaims, an addict "has found that their lives have become unmanageable", and those that this refers to have indeed lost control of themselves, and are more likely than not, the ones who are robbing, thieving and pilaging for their addictions---these people need rather firm assistance.

However, there is another class of "users". According to the Bureau of Justice statistics. 70%, that's seventy percent, of drug users were employed full time prior to their convictions for possession. That means to me, that 70% of drug those drug "possessers" were managing to pay taxes, support themselves and avoided stealing everything that wasn't nailed down to supply their drugs. Does that fit the idea of what "addiction" is? NO.

While I fully agree that anyone who can't control themselves and their "drug of choice" should stay away from all drugs, I feel there should be way more lieniency for working people, not engaged in criminal activities, who choose to include some drug in their private activities.

The law, however, does not differentiate between the two, but it could be imagined that the reason these people end up in court more often is simply that they have an ability to PAY fines, fees and other costs, and they are not hiding in the shadows looking for something to steal---they are at work, paying taxes, and adding to their 401K.

As long as we allow our government to lump people together based on their illegal actions, rather than their character and contributions to society or whether or not they adversely affected anyone else, we will see harmless people persecuted right along with the rest...but AA/NA considers these folks "functioning addicts", which defies their own definition of "addict". Think about that. They had to come up with a new terminology to justify including these people in their program.

and yes, there are some people (functioning addicts?) who have not abandoned common sense and self-control, despite what the spin-junkies claim.

I've always believed that people are responsible for their own actions, and that by blaming drugs for our choices rather than owning our mistakes, we are placing blame where it doesn't belong and creating a "teflon society" where accountability never sticks (at least in our own minds)...and then allowing the courts to decide everyone's fate.

We need to take back and maintain control over our own lives. Then there would be no such thing as "addiction" as commonly defined.
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  #64  
Old 06-18-2007, 01:00 PM
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An excellent point, and I stand corrected. If I look back to my late teen (25 or so years ago), there were a couple of occasions when I was technically in possession of marijuana (and yes, I did inhale--on two occasions). The stuff didn't appeal to me and I've never gone near it since.

So you're right--a drug "user" is very different from a drug addict.

By the way, I also think you're correct on another important point: what someone does in their own home, without injury or inconvenience to others, is no one else's business. Few would question the right of someone who has finished a day of work to put his or her feet back up and have a couple of beers or glasses of wine. Replace the alcohol with "certain substances" and an innocent activity becomes a felony.
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  #65  
Old 06-28-2007, 05:48 PM
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What about this....my fiance was charged with trafficking by sitting the backseat of someones car that had 10 oz of coke and 1 lb of meth in the drivers possession. he was sentenced with 5 1/2/ min and 7 max. his ex-bunk mate was serving a 3 yr sentence for MANSLAUGHTER!!! So lets all 'accidently' kill someone and get a slap on the wrist!!!! I pulled this guys DOC record and he has assault after assault charge, b and e, larceny charges out the ass and my fiance had NEVER had so much as a traffic ticket. BTW, I live in NC, they pick and choose who does what and who goes where!!!
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  #66  
Old 07-02-2007, 09:44 AM
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Default We Love Our Demons

Whether it's the commies, gays, felons, republicans, homeless people or the tweaks, society must have a demon to take their anger out on.


Every page in the history book of society has a "bad guy" and his victims on it. Our villain makes us feel better about ourselves, because we see ourselves a "better than" somebody, at least. The misadventures that make up the lives of our demons shed some sunshine on our own, uneventful existences, and satisfies our need to hate something or somebody.

A lot of folks will argue with this idea, and it may very well be true that some people do not need to look down on others to feel important themselves. These people are the saints among us, and they are few and far between. But on some level, everyone sets themselves apart from the current demon. This is called "morality". More simply put, the group who thinks that their way of thinking is proper, while those who tend to deviate from what the moral majority thinks is appropriate become the "anti-social" group.

(those who go against our societal correctness"

The masses of people who do need to hate, do so in sufficient quantities that the rest of us can focus our attentions elsewhere, perhaps on something important like freedom or justice.

Speaking of 'justice', we all know that felons, people who have been convicted of a felony offense, have forever been an easy target. They are the unwanted ones, the ones who have violated each and every one of us, even though our lives have never truly touched each other. So why must we do everything in out power to make their existence as miserable as possible? No. We are only protecting us from them, them who seek to disrupt our dreamy little vision of ourselves and our pro-social correctness.

Again, we need to look at ourselves. Our perceptions of ourselves, as the "pro-social" group, the proper, righteous group would be in serious conflict with reality if we had to admit that felons are people just like us---Just like US? we can't allow that, our fragile egos would be crushed....

If this all sounds quite ridiculous to you, then welcome to reality! Since I believe that diversity is not a crime, I'll concede that this can be either my reality, or yours---whichever you prefer.

At any rate, the point I make here is that hate takes all forms, even those masked cloaked in saint-hood and positive thinking patterns. Hate breeds within the idea of one who thinks they are 'right', at the expense of any other point of view.

There can be no equality in elitism, no compassion in selfishness, and no forgiveness in hatred.

To cast out our demons, we must cast out our perceptions of who we think we are, and replace them with who we want to be.
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  #67  
Old 07-18-2007, 07:04 PM
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i believe first time drug offenders should go through a special program or probation that focuses on educational awarement and continuing adult education.
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  #68  
Old 07-19-2007, 12:22 AM
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Default Wow!

I haven't been on this post in a while. Considering I started it, I figured I would add in my two cents which I did a while back. My husband, well soon to be anyway, has been incarcerated for about 9 months now. I miss him dearly. I still don't think that he shouldn't have been given as much time as he did, if any at all, for the situation he was in. God had his hands in on this one. He has changed into an amazing man, one that I can and will spend the rest of my life with regardless of where he is. I love the man he has become and look forward to our lives together. Everything happens for a reason, and we are both at peace with his sentencing!! In the beginning I felt sorry for myself but God has changed me as well. God bless all of the loved ones that are left behind! He has blessed our family in a way unimaginable. I still think something SHOULD be done to stop the crazy sentencing though; there is much blessing to be given but you've got to get it through Him!!!
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:29 AM
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I live in Texas, I think people with first time drug charges should go to rehab. and, an education or training program to help them get off drugs and learn a trade so they can make an honest living. Many of the people on drugs have not finished high school. The chances of getting a good job is slim at best. If they learn a trade, mechanic, truck driver, large machine operator, bulldozer etc. they have a lot better chance of making a successful rehab. from drugs with education and training. Texas has a bad habit of letting people slip through cracks when it comes to education and then we have family members without education and a government that doesn't care.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:36 AM
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Default Victim of the system

My boyfriend was sentenced to 5 years on first time drug charges. It is tough being away from him and I know even tougher for him being in jail. I agree 100% that first time drug offenders should not be put in jail Prisons are overcrowded as it is. Save the spaces for violent offenders.
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  #71  
Old 07-25-2007, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AriesMom
I think that minimum mandatory laws need to be eliminated. They have taken away the judges ability to judge and given all the power to the DA's who only want to see convictions...My daughter was a drug user and was set up. By allowing a deal to happen in her apt, she gets same charge as the dealer..7 years..her first time, he's been caught dealing before. The informer who set up..scott free and still doing drugs.
IMO, the worst thing about mandatory minimums is that the DA's become the judge, and in a plea deal, the jury and executioner also. Not only does the judge lose his ability to make the punishment fit the crime, the DA is better positioned to use his arsenal of weapons to put the people he dislikes away for a long time. I've seen a DA who "stacked" several charges on the co-defendant, and then made the CHOICE to prosecute him under mandatory minimum laws--the plea "bargain" was for 245 months total, running everything consecutively! Then, he turned around and in the same case, the defendant was not charged under mandatory minimum laws, and no stacking of offenses. The plea bargain was for 66 months, running several counts concurrently.

The difference was not in the criminal histories or actions of the defendants---the difference was that the co-defendant had filed a complaint against some other DA in that office, several years ago, over his treatment by the DA in that case, regarding some political differences.

It is clear that there is more than one way to prosecute any case---the lenient way, the neutral "by the book" way, or the silent vendetta way. The end result is that the judge is helpless to make the sentence just. DA's are political public officials, chosen to get convictions, they are not supposed to be neutral...but they are supposed to be in the pursuit of justice, in every case.

As long as we replace neutral, fair judges with vengeful DA's with a score to settle, or who think anyone who is black, poor, female or doesn't belong to their racquetball club is "less than human" we will suffer the consequences.

It is no accident that the poor and ethnic suffer more than their fair share of injustices---they have no political clout, no money to retain high-powered counsel, are less educated or simply scared to death.

The point is, sentencing varies widely, influenced by anything BUT equal justice under the law. A non-violent drug user, or who sells to ADULT friends is very different from the "Al Capone-like" figures the prosecution makes everyone out to be. There are probably people in your neighborhood who have been quietly selling a little bit to their associates for decades, unbeknownst to you. Then there are the gun-packing. cold-blooded killers that would murder for $10, pimping your children and stealing your tires off the family sedan---

Al Capone might have gone free if he had turned into an informant---while "joe anybody" rots in prison because he had nobody valuable to tell on...

And it is the DA who makes that choice. To fry, or not to fry, that is the question. And it's all up to the District Attorney and the grand jury.

You wanna make real changes to this system, all you have to do is make it transparent, open up it's operations for all to see and evaluate for fairness.

Keep it honest...that's all.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:15 AM
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"Sentencing guidelines" also encourage the common tactic used by prosecutors in the form of "stacking" charges on an alleged offender. One will, say, be charged with three different offenses, two of which carry sentences of 5-10 years in prison, and one of which carries 30 days and two years' probation. His/her public defender will then be offered a "deal" in which he/she pleads guilty to the smallest charge and the other two are dismissed--never mind the merits of the case!

The usual result of course is a guilty plea. So the prosecutor gets what he wants, the public defender gets an easy check, and the defenday gets screwed.
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  #73  
Old 08-16-2007, 08:58 PM
Valerie Valerie is offline
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Sometimes yes and sometimes no, It all depends on the situation.
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  #74  
Old 08-20-2007, 12:02 PM
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Sh0r3ty Sh0r3ty is offline
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well i didn't read all the posts in here, but i do not think that giving first time offenders prison, maybe 3-5 months in county jail then thats okay, to let them see what they did is wrong you know. if you just give them probation, then they had no time to think about what they did and such. and they can just be roaming the streets and doing the same thing again, at least that way they can think about what they did. another thing, if people just wanna be putting them in rehab, or some kind of program like that, its not up to someone to decide weather they should be put there or not, because if someone doesn't wanna change their ways than they are not gonna do it. but at least by giving them a lil time in county than they can think about what they did and what it lead to and then if they wanna stick with the same crap, than maybe then they should get more time the next time it happens again. thats just my opinion, peace out!
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  #75  
Old 08-25-2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeFaithNLove
Manufacturing is much different. I actually have a friend that has a friend that was caught manufacturing meth in Brownwood, Tx. Funny thing is he got probation... the system is so messed up. It's all about money. If you or your family have money you can get out of just about any mess you find yourself in.

Another situation, someone who was charged with the same as my husband, only 10x more of the drug... they came from a wealthy family. So their parents paid $10,000 up front in fines and they got 10 years probation and didn't even have to serve the full 10. I'm pretty sure it was 10, if not it was 5. And my husband wasted $5000 on a lawyer and got 10 years in prison... that doesn't add up. It's wrong and it is inhumane. Period!

In this society, you are guilty until prove innocent (not the other way around like the Constitution reads). Take a look at what they do with celebrities, for instance. I could get a felony just for having a little bit of personal stash pot on me during a cross-country road trip and all that would have to happen is get caught with it in the wrong state. Why is alcohol legal and pot is not? I don't get it, either!
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