US OK: Column: Drug Cartels' 'Vocabulary Of Mutilation'
Tulsa World, 09 Aug 2015 - WASHINGTON - Novelist and conscientious objector to America's longest "war," Don Winslow was skeptical when he was in Washington on a recent Sunday. This was shortly after news broke about the escape, from one of Mexico's "maximum security" prisons, of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Mexico's top drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has twice escaped from a maximum-security prison. Guzman reportedly escaped through a five-foot-tall tunnel almost a mile long and built solely for his escape. Asked about this, Winslow, his fork poised over an omelet, dryly said he thinks Guzman might actually have driven away from the prison's front gate in a Lincoln Town Car. What might seem like cynicism could be Winslow's realism.
US OK: Column: The Cartels' 'Vocabulary Of Mutilation'
The Oklahoman, 06 Aug 2015 - WASHINGTON - Don Winslow, novelist and conscientious objector to America's longest "war," was skeptical when he was in Washington on a recent Sunday morning. This was shortly after news broke about the escape, from one of Mexico's "maximum security" prisons, of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Guzman reportedly escaped through a 5-foottall tunnel almost a mile long and built solely for his escape. Asked about this, Winslow dryly said he thinks Guzman might actually have driven away from the prison's front gate in a Lincoln Town Car. What might seem like cynicism could be Winslow's realism. Fourteen years ago, Guzman escaped from another "maximum security" prison simply by hiding in a laundry cart.
US OK: Forfeiture Fray
The Oklahoman, 18 May 2015 - Senator Denies Claims That Plan to Change Law Is Grab for Money A state senator has upset law enforcement officers across the state by saying the state's drug money forfeiture law needs to be changed to protect the innocent.
US OK: PUB LTE: Treatment Is Cheaper
The Oklahoman, 15 May 2015 - Regarding "Momentum building for justice reform" (Point of View, May 9): J.C. Watts recommends "shortening prison sentences for nonviolent offenders - or diverting people from prison altogether" to reduce prison costs. What he doesn't say: Nonviolent offenders are drug users supporting their addiction selling drugs to other users. Oklahoma isn't the place to rethink 100 years of failed attempts to control narcotics and "dangerous drugs" by criminal laws prohibiting possession or sale of drugs. It started with the federal Harrison Act (opium, 1912), leading every state to prosecute drug users/sellers since the 1930s. Former Congressman Watts and his task force on federal corrections reform need to determine whether criminal justice systems are suitable for folks addicted to drugs. They may discover drug addictions increased during the "war on drugs." Invest taxpayer money in treatment programs. That's much cheaper than doubling Oklahoma's prison population. Transfer narcotic enforcement officers to street patrols. Let them arrest real criminals.
US OK: LTE: A Malignant Cancer
The Oklahoman, 15 May 2015 - I agree almost completely with David Read (Your Views, May 8): Drugs are not the "harmless recreation" that is the viewpoint of liberals and, unfortunately, a lot of conservatives. Drugs destroy lives. Do I need to point further than Skyla Whitaker and her friend? Walking on a familiar country road and shot by a recreational drug user? What will it take to wake this country up? More people need to realize that the purpose of the law is to protect society, not to let criminals off time and time again in order to satisfy some sociological sense of guilt. The law has many safeguards to protect people who are wrongly accused, but if someone is guilty, they need to be locked up, period. If the prisons are overcrowded, more prisons need to be built. These kind of people aren't harmless. Users and dealers are a malignant cancer and need to be treated as such. Arrell D. Martindale
US OK: PUB LTE: Time To Declare Peace In Failed Drug War
The Oklahoman, 10 May 2015 - Regarding "Law an example of why more reform is needed" (Our Views, May 3): When it comes to preventing drug use, mass incarceration is a cure worse than the disease. The drug war is not the promoter of family values some would have us believe. Children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Not only do the children lose out, but society as a whole does too. Incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is the equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in criminal behavior. Prisons transmit violent habits rather than reduce them. Nonviolent drug offenders are eventually released, with dismal job prospects because of criminal records.
US OK: Editorial: Positive Step
Tulsa World, 06 May 2015 - We applaud Gov. Mary Fallin's decision to sign legislation allowing a medical pilot program that uses a nonintoxicating derivative of marijuana - medicinal cannabis oil or CBD - to help children with seizure disorders. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, was carefully written to allow for tightly controlled investigational medical studies that can be conducted in a safe, responsible and scientific manner.
US OK: Editorial: Law an Example of Why More Reform Is Needed
The Oklahoman, 03 May 2015 - LAW AN EXAMPLE OF WHY MORE REFORM IS NEEDED OKLAHOMA'S three-strikes law for drug felony convictions, on the books since 1989, underscores the importance of policymakers occasionally reviewing state statutes to determine whether there's a better way to handle crime and punishment. The answer, generally, is yes.
US OK: I Will Die In Prison For A Nonviolent Crime
The Oklahoman, 03 May 2015 - With State Prisons Over Capacity, Some Are Calling for Reversal of Harsh Law Kevin Ott drew his first strike when he was arrested for a small bag of methamphetamine in his pocket in 1993. A year later, authorities caught the self-described country boy from Okemah with marijuana plants growing at his home. That strike got him 15 months in prison.