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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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November 2003
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A new novel to check out…

A picture named daugherskeeper.jpg
I haven’t read this new book by Ayelet Waldman yet, but it’s high on my wish list, and the reviews have been outstanding. Waldman is a former public defender and author of the popular Mommy Track mystery series.
According to the Review in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Some defense attorneys burn out because they come to believe they are doing little more than hastening criminals back onto the street.
Author Ayelet Waldman, a former federal public defender in Los Angeles, had the opposite problem: She got tired of seeing “innocents” taking the fall in America’s war on drugs.
“I thought I would be seeing kingpins going to jail, but the kingpins negotiate deals and go to jail for very little time,” Waldman says. “It’s the people who are on the lowest rungs on the ladder, and so have no information to sell, who go to prison for a long time — the guy who carries the box or the woman who takes a phone message.”
Lawmakers who set up the rules of engagement for America’s “war on drugs” instituted stiff mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of trafficking in illegal substances, so that a judge or jury can’t try to single out a particular defendant for more lenient treatment.
“After a while, I thought, I can’t do this anymore,” she says. “Rapists, pedophiles get out of jail sooner than my clients would. I wasn’t helping anything funneling these people through the system.”
In Daughter’s Keeper, Waldman follows one young woman, Olivia Goodman, whose undocumented Mexican lover, Jorge Rodriguez, thinks a quick drug deal or two will provide him with enough money to get established in the United States.
Jorge doesn’t realize that the acquaintance who proposed he get involved with selling drugs in the first place is an informant for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Jorge is arrested, and in order to reduce his own sentence, he tells DEA agents that Olivia was also involved.
Olivia had tried to dissuade Jorge from selling drugs, but because she was in the car when he went to pick up the drugs and she conveyed a phone message about the deal, she faces 10 years in prison.

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