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March 2005



The definition of insanity is doing something over and over and hoping for a different result

The Charlottesville Daily Progress has an interesting article by Liesel Nowak: Tough on crime means losing drug war, critics say

Critics have said that the traditionally harsh penalties in federal court have led to jury nullification, in which jurors rule with their conscience instead of the law, and that the tough-on-crime spirit of the federal system is losing the war on drugs.

Take the recent case of a Charlottesville man. Jurors in a 2004 federal trial acquitted city resident Todd Jones, charged in a violent drug conspiracy, though they convicted two others in the same case. At least one juror believed Jones was guilty.

The article goes on to examine the failure of the drug war.

Since the inception of mandatory guidelines in 1987, drugs have continued to move through society even as an increasing number of men and women are locked up.

“If you want to use the war on drugs analogy, then let’s use it. We’re losing,” lawyer J. Lloyd Snook III said. “If the definition of insanity is doing something over and over and hoping for a different result, then this is insane.”

According to the National Office of Drug Control Policy, in 2003 the federal government spent $19 billion on the war on drugs – a rate of about $600 per second. And the Bureau of Prisons reports that 89 percent of federal prisoners were convicted of drug crimes.

Not a bad article.

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