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So much for the myth . . .

Discussion in 'Legal' started by DMF, Jun 18, 2005.

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  1. DMF

    DMF Member

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    . . . that minor drug offenders go to jail for lengthy sentences on their first offense.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20050616-9999-2m16meth.html

    Campus lab called meth-making site

    By Onell R. Soto
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    June 16, 2005

    A San Diego State graduate student on probation for drug violations used a university lab to make methamphetamine, Ecstasy and an anesthetic 80 times more potent than morphine, authorities said yesterday.

    Matthew Finley, 26, was arrested at his home in Ocean Beach yesterday and the campus lab where he worked was shut down as investigators removed illicit drugs, a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman said.

    "He felt he could get away with it. To his disappointment today, he did not," DEA spokesman Misha Piastro said. "His disregard for the safety of the rest of the student body is alarming and not something we take lightly."

    After his arrest, Finley told investigators that he manufactured methamphetamine and a chemical used to make methamphetamine, as well as Ecstasy and fentanyl, the powerful anesthetic, according a court document.

    Capsules of Ecstasy, vials of fentanyl and three marijuana plants were seized from Finley's home, authorities said.

    The second floor of the west wing of the Chemical Sciences Laboratory is expected to reopen today, said university spokesman Jason Foster.

    Because it's nearly summer, only 25 to 30 people were working in the west wing of the lab yesterday, he said.

    While drug arrests on the large campus are not unusual, Foster said he could not recall another drug incident in the last five years involving the chemical labs.

    Finley, who was pursuing a master's degree in chemistry, was convicted of drug charges in Santa Barbara in 2002 and placed on probation, according to a complaint a DEA agent filed with a federal judge yesterday.

    At that time, he told investigators he used a lab at the University of California Santa Barbara to convert a liquid form of the drug Ecstasy into a powder, the agent said.

    He was caught growing marijuana the following year and again placed on probation. A judge sentenced him to two years in prison but suspended the sentence, according to the complaint.

    San Diego State University police approached the DEA late last year after being tipped that someone was manufacturing methamphetamine in the chemistry lab where Finley worked.

    A surveillance camera in the lab captured Finley late last month working with a dark liquid that later tested positive for Ecstasy, authorities said.

    Some of the chemicals Finley used were likely obtained outside the university, Piastro said.

    Foster said there are strict controls on its laboratories, which do some of the more than $100 million worth of research the university performs a year.

    "Students have to go through environmental health and safety training," he said. "There are safety officers within departments like chemistry that track the incoming orders for chemicals and disbursements of chemicals."

    Finley is expected to appear in court today.

    --------------------------------------

    See folks this is what really happens. Probation, even for repeat offenders, is the norm, unless the crime is especially egregious.
     
  2. lunaslide

    lunaslide Member

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    And so much for the myth that putting minor drug offenders in jail does anything to prevent drug usage or production.
     
  3. zahc

    zahc Member

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    What disregard are they speaking of?

    Article doesn't seem to say, but can we assume he was expelled from the school?
     
  4. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    I am assuming they are refering to meth being volatile during the cooking phase.

    And let me tell you, it is. We, the wife and I, are going through a problem with our niece. She is like our daughter, we have raised her since her mom abandoned her at age 6. She has started running with the wrong crowd, doing meth, SELLING meth and aiding in the cooking of meth. She moved in with her grand parents (they are softies, knew the problem but igonred it). Grand parents left for a week vacation, she moved some meth heads in to stay for a while. Well, an incident of ether blowback happened, 1 kid in the hospital, kitchen of grandparents house burned, police are now invloved (thank god). Its a mess all around. My wife and I have been threatned, as have the grand parents. Grand pa served the niece with a Notice to Quit, basically evicting her. The meth head boyfriend did not like that. But the niece is 18, she can do what she wants (she keeps reminding us of that). Well, she is kicked out, no place to live, I repossessed the Jeep we bought her to go to college (she quit college when she met these meth monkies). She came crying to use, stating that she cant find a job with out a care. My reply, "you are 18, you can do what you want, no one is in your business."


    Sorry, got off topic, had to rant. Have not told many what we are going through right now. Thanks for listening.

    Back on track, I agree with DMF, drug offenders often, way to often, do not get long punishment. This kid I am talking about that my niece is messed up with is 24, he as been in and out of jail since he was 14, all drug and firearm related. And is currently on probation on a drug charge, he failed to comply with a jugdes order, arrested him again, 3 days, back on probation. Makes you wonder.
     
  5. DMF

    DMF Member

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    Please note the three areas I highlighted in bold print.

    Maybe this kid wouldn't have thought he could "get away with it," if he hadn't gotten away with it twice before. We don't know because that not what happens with this type of person. However, your thesis that putting minor drug offenders in jail doesn't work is not supported by this article, because he wasn't put in jail. He was twice given probation rather than jail time.

    Also, his first offense was not a minor offense. Processing/manufacturing X is not a minor crime.
     
  6. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    uh what had you under the impression minor offenders went to prison for a long time????

    that hasn't been true for years.

    unless of course you are black- that generally carries a bit heavier sentence.

    also CA is pretty lax on drugs compared to places like the south. jails are too full.

    seems pretty cut and dry standard to me.
    you can bet guy will get some time out of this last charge for sure though.
     
  7. DMF

    DMF Member

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    I never was under that impression, but when the "War on Drugs" gets brought up here, I've seen many references to the prisons being filled with minor offenders getting long sentences. This article just highlighted very well that concept is a myth.
     
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I hope she'll live long enough to thank you for saying so.
     
  9. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    I hope so as well. I doubt it, but I can hope. NOT to much that I can do about it.
     
  10. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Vernal, you have my deepest sympathy. This is a problem I've run into many, many times when dealing with the families of prison inmates. Their usual comments are heartbreaking, in the sense that they have no idea what to do to stop the person, and how can they put him out of their home, etc., etc. It's been my painful duty to tell them that there is nothing they can do to change the person unless and until he/she has come to the realization that he/she is destroying his/her life, and must change. If they let them live at home, they're simply giving them a "safe haven" to continue their destructive behavior, and at the same time putting other family members at risk. Always, the family will come back with "How can you ask us to put our loved one out on the street?" My answer is always "How can you allow one member of your family to risk the lives and/or health of all of the rest of your family, particularly the children?"

    Sometimes they have the courage to kick out the offender. Other times, they don't - and almost always, in the latter cases, they regret not having done so... :(
     
  11. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    Manipulating things there just a bit? While there may or may not have been threads where some individual operated under the mistaken impression offenders always get long sentences the statistics say our prisons are indeed full of drug offenders, not how long any specific sentence is. As such I'm not sure what you're trying to do here, except maybe build a strawman to knock over.
     
  12. zahc

    zahc Member

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    That's what I was afraid of, because it's rediculus to think that cooking meth is any more dangerous than the many dangerous processes that take place in chemistry labs.
     
  13. centac

    centac member

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    The NIJ has released research on the imprisonment of marijuana offenders. Interesting reading, particularly if you think that our prisons are full of personal users.
     
  14. lunaslide

    lunaslide Member

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    Neither is your thesis supported by this story. Perhaps it is a myth that minor offenders are put in prison for a long time, perhaps it isn't. But this story doesn't make your point for you at all. What point were you trying to make anyway?
    Provide a source if you're going to quote studies so that people can look up the data for themselves.

    The talk of marijuana as a gateway drug misses the root issue. People get turned on to other drugs because they seek out escape and dealers that sell marijuana sell other drugs too. Is alcohol a gateway drug? No. Addiction is the cause. People who need to seek out those types of escape do it no matter what barriers you put in their way. The real aim is to reduce the desire to seek out escape. The world is awash in substances that are intoxicating and the human drive to try them, use them and abuse them will only abate when we can no longer be considered physiologically "human" anymore. The war on drugs is as futile as the war on sandy beaches.
     
  15. centac

    centac member

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    That would be the National Institute of Justice. I'm not in my office today so I cannot cite the exact title, but it is something like "marijuana and imprisonment." I always figure that if a person is for-real, they'll be able to find what I'm talkin' about.
     
  16. joab

    joab Member

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    Shows what you DMF how can he be a criminal, he's a college student

    Vernal45
    As hard as it may be, you did the right thing.
    I wasn't strong enough to do the same, my son is dead. But at least his death woke up two of his friends and the father of another.
    He stopped enabling his son and sent him out on his own. He calls me sometimes and cries a lot
     
  17. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    If you cite a source it's your job to provide the link, not everyone else's job to do your work for you. That's how debate works, sorry. I always figure if a person is for real they'll provide their data, at least some of the time...

    Once again, in your case, centac, you appear to be manipulating the terms. First it's "small time offenders recieve lengthy sentences", then it is "marijuana and imprisonment" insinuating anyone has claimed pot accounts for the bulk of drug users in prison. The claim is that drug convictions account for a large/inordinate percentage of prisoners in the US. Since I for one don't care what the drug is, or the length of the sentence, all this is immaterial to the issue: Legalize drugs, get the government out of the prohibition business and let the loonies kill themselves while enforcing "drug laws" the same way we handle booze.

    Here's you some down-n-dirty data, with sources:

    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/prison.htm
     
  18. IZinterrogator

    IZinterrogator Member

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    If you have ever seen the music video by Seether for their song "Broken", the trailer park that the video was shot in was destroyed by a exploding meth lab. The trailer park (not just the one trailer) was leveled by the blast.

    Here's a link to the video page of their website: http://www.seether.com/index800.html. I believe that the fires and smoke was added for the video, but the devastation was already there when they showed up to shoot the video.

    Edit: Okay, the link takes you to the main page. Click on the video link on the lower left side.
     
  19. GRB

    GRB member

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    I have known a couple of minor drug offenders in my time. Two in particular that I can think of were minor crack heads. Yeah they only used it a little bit. The thing is they were both in and out of jail or on probation a large number of times but for short stints at that. Then they went out and mugged an old man for drug money. Guess what, they tried me next. I shot one of em, he lived - too bad as I see it. They went to jail for a whole 3.5 to 4 years for one of them and the other got about a year less in NY, the state with the toughest drug laws on the books at the time - yet their previous drug crimes got them almost no time. What a crock it is for me to hear that these guys go to jail for abnormally long sentences. By the way, they were both minorities.

    I have known plenty of drug users, pushers and smugglers to get a lot less time than you would probably expect. That is a sad thing about the USA, lots of laws on the books, but too many people who want to bend over backward to appease the criminals and make them out as some sort of oppressed class of really good guys. That is just not the case in my experience, criminals are not such nice guys no matter what race, color, creed or ethnic background. Nor are they as oppressed as many would make them ut to be. They choose a life of crime instead of a life of trying to become educated and get a decent but hard job. They are quite often the types who like the hours, like the lure of easy money, like not having a boss so to speak, like breaking rules and, do not give a rats behind about whether or not they hook, hurt or kill you as long as they get what they want. Jail is too good for some of them.
     
  20. centac

    centac member

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    2A

    No
     
  21. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    No, you can't cite data to support your claim? No, you're not for real? No, you don't mind misrepresenting what has been or is being said? No, you don't care to read actual statistics provided? No, you don't care about anything but your own narrow definition of enforcement and what the BoR actually says, etc?

    We already knew all that, but thx anyway.
     
  22. Vernal45

    Vernal45 member

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    But he knows about them dangerous Coffee Cans.
     
  23. centac

    centac member

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    I'm not playing your game, 2a. I'll post the report title when I'm back in the office Tuesday.
     
  24. DMF

    DMF Member

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  25. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Federal prisons, federal time, district courts, etc. Most inmates are in state prisons, not federal. Here is the AZ report of incarcerated inmates by sentance type, May 2005. For men, drug DEALING is number 3,(3,378), right behind theft, (3,398), and number 1, assault, (3,630), while women are skewed far and away towards drug DEALING as thier number one crime,(528), as opposed to the number 2 crime, theft, (367). When the numbers are added together, drug DEALING becomes number one, followed closely by assault and theft.
    The question was minor drug crimes, of which drug DEALING is not, so simple drug POSESSION is a grand total of 1,970, both men and women. Thats significantly less than those incarcerated for child molestation, (2,456), and DUI, (2,606), robbery, (2,549), and murder, (2,067)
    There is your breakdown by sentance type for one state. BTW, anyone stating it's always minorities going to prison? AZ populations are 43.7% Caucasion, followed by 25.1% Mexican Americans, as number 2.
    No blather, no speeches, just hard cold facts and numbers.
    http://www.azcorrections.gov/reports/Who.htm
    Here's a snapshot of the whole system, too. http://www.azcorrections.gov/reports/CAGApr05.pdf
     
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