Friday, October 14, 2011

A Few Mistakes Have Been Made

Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia says the drug laws were a mistake.

"It was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal went on to report Scalia's belief that the laws forced Congress to enlarge the federal court system, and diminished "the elite quality of the federal judiciary."

This isn't a new problem. Chief Justice William Rehnquist complained as far back as 1989 that the war on drugs was overwhelming the federal judiciary. In 1995, Kathleen F. Brickley, an academic, found that "the Federal system is strained to capacity due, in large part, to the government's war on drugs."
There also seems to be a quota system that has been strained beyond the breaking point. Which seems to be the reason some cops were fabricating drug charges.
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as "flaking," on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
Real investigations take time. And sometimes they don't pay off. Sometimes they do and the cops need to find some other people to keep their numbers up.

It is a difficult job and no one should be doing it.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

LarryD said...

Having quotas for law enforcement to meet is just wrong. It doesn't matter if its cops or prosecutors, or how trivial or serious the matter, quotas will cause abuse.