Helpful DUI, Criminal and Traffic Articles by Dan Murphy

I was fortunate enough to take a class in law school taught by the Honorable John Kane (Stuart Steers’s “Disorder in the Court,” November 22). He was, by far, the most interesting, compelling and erudite teacher I had. Not only are his views on this country’s ill-advised drug policy astute, but his assessment of the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of mandatory sentences is right on. But for a Reagan/Bush-packed Supreme Court, whose leader makes Rush Limbaugh look liberal, the separation-of-powers theory would not allow the legislature to hogtie the judiciary’s ability to hand out just sentences for drug cases. Not mentioned, but just as egregious, is the fact that in Colorado, a person faces a possible twelve years in prison for possessing cocaine residue if it can be analyzed by the state. If that person hands this residue to a friend, he faces up to 32 years. How this country allows the alcohol and tobacco industries to legally dispense drugs, which are arguably as harmful as illegal drugs, if not more so, is incredible. Incredible, but certain to remain in place, unfortunately. One reason for this is that an attempt to present a logical alternative would be political suicide. Kane has immunity from this fate only because he is a retired judge in a system that, due to partisan politics (see: Allard, Wayne, and his knee-jerk rejection of all Clinton judicial nominees) is in desperate need of jurists. Our government is ignoring an opportunity to gain a huge revenue stream while reducing the need for drastic acts – i.e., violence perpetrated by dealers trying to protect their interests. These additional monies could be used to ease the Social Security problem and, dare I say it, to infuse money into an educational system that sorely needs it. Thank you for having the courage to present this view, for which I’m sure you will be vilified. Daniel M. Murphy