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Is this really willful cruelty?

April 04, 2002

I am becoming increasingly concerned at the way local law enforcement is charging individuals with crimes of "no relation" to the actual deed. Though the article on the 19-year-old who was found with drug paraphernalia in his car was not very complete, I cannot logically find any relation between the possession of such material and cruelty.

If the child was in a safety seat and the individual in question was not driving under the influence, how was he being cruel?

It does not serve our justice system well to cost this county money charging people with crimes that are not actually being committed. Public defenders cost real money and wasting court time on charges that will probably be dismissed is hardly cost-effective.

I feel it would behoove the local Sheriff's Office to charge people with real crimes, not ones they pull from their head because they don't like something they have found. In this case a charge of possession of paraphernalia would have been appropriate.

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Using children as an excuse for charging people with crimes does this community a disservice.

MARK HARKUS

Calexico

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