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Three Life Sentences for Witnessing a Drug Deal

Written by Gary North on June 14, 2012

Back in 1993, a 23-year-old man witnessed a drug deal. The participants of the deal pled guilty. They are out of jail. He refused to plead guilty for having witnessed the deal. He is still in prison. He will probably never get out, unless he gets pardoned.

The cost to the taxpayers is around $29,000 per year.  The cost to him is his life.

Prior to his conviction, he had no criminal record.

President Obama said before he was elected that he opposed mandatory minimum drug penalties. He spoke of the need for second chances. Yet he has pardoned only 23 people, which makes him the least forgiving of Presidents in this area.

The prisoner may get a pardon. The Washington Post ran an article about him. Publicity helps a little.

The Post story revealed that information had been disregarded in the case’s documentation. He might otherwise have gone free. Bush might have pardoned him.

The war on drugs has been a failure for approximately 70 years. It has filled our very expensive prisons with people who did not commit violent crimes. Instead of mandating restitution to their victims, the state has made taxpayers the victims. The victims have no rights. Neither do the taxpayers.

And neither does a witness to a drug deal.

The main justifications for civil government are these: it protects us against violence, fraud, and invasion. Yet if we look at how the money is spent, almost none of it protects against the first two, and with the collapse of the USSR in 1991, invasion has been out of the question. Yet the Defense Department’s budget keeps growing.

The various levels governments spend most of the money on wealth transfers. Most of what does not go for wealth transfers goes for regulation of our lives.

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19 thoughts on “Three Life Sentences for Witnessing a Drug Deal

  1. I'm trying to understand this and I'm not getting it. They saw a drug deal and was sent to prison? They were not involved in the drug deal but just saw it and did nothing. Am I reading this correctly? If that is the case, this is plain old stupid. When is seeing something a crime?

  2. You have to wonder how they knew if he knew what was happening or the law must just be based on sheer proximity. Idiots, fools and thieves, all dressed up in some sort of govt. uniform.

  3. The Kosman says:

    This man is being persecuted for not cooperating with the drug warriors. No other reason. He committed no crime that is actually on the books.

  4. That's what I was wondering. What if he thought it wasn't drugs but something else? Heck, they could have been selling anything small. Just because he was there doesn't mean he knew what was going on. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if I have seen a drug deal and not known it. We have a spot up the road from where cars park a lot. I have seen them moving things around from one car to another. Was it drugs? I have no idea. It could have been drugs, dead body or just luggage.

    Are we supposed to go investigate things to see if we have to report a crime now? I thought that was the job of the police.

  5. AD Roberts says:

    You sound more like a libertarian. Yes, there are good reasons for some of the functions of government that apparently you do not understand or believe But I never knew that it was against the law to observe a crime. What a travesty.

    As time goes along, we see more and more of the excesses of government, especially in the judicial department. IT must be stopped.

    As to the author, your last comments were the most revealing. You rant about how much is spent on defense. Yes, it may be excessive until you realize that in fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, we did not have enough men to fight the war. We had to activate the reserve and National Guard. And the regular army personnel have spent more time in combat than any soldiers in WWII. Maybe it is just that the money is going into the pockets of contractors and their supporters, ie, politicians.

    I will note your name and watch to see if you continue to be a libertarian. Conservatives I like. Libertarians not so much.

  6. AD Roberts says:

    Just looked to see who the author was. What a surprise. What is wrong with you Gary?

  7. No good deed goes unpunished. Guess it's better to keep your eyes closed and your mouth shut.

  8. I don't get it? How is witnessing a drug deal a crime?

  9. mere proximity IS the basis of those charges. No knowledge or understanding of what is going down. Just like the laws allowing seuzire of property when it is "involved" in anything even smacking of drugs. Let a friend borrow your car, he's busted for drugs, b ye bye car.. and possibly charged with "accessory" into the bargain.

    END the war on drugs.. a failed, multibilliin dollar racket that, as mentioned, incarcerates millions of otherwise harmless people… and a goodly number of them innocent of ANY harm, or even crime. There IS such a thing as "mens rea", that is, criminal intent. It seems to not be necessary in this case, and thousands more like it.

    Ron Paul wants to decriminalise drugs at the federal level…. he'd likely dismember the DEA, and certianly and the WoD…. HE realises the anticonstitutional ramifications of this gross injustice. Does that mean he SUPPORTS or approves of drug use? Nope…. but in the larger scheme of things, he realises it is NOT moral, nor expedient, to waste countless billions to find, often entrap or bait, charge, persecute (yes, I spelled that correctly), and incarcerate to the tune of more untold billions… people who do NO HARM to others.. the biblical basis for "crime" and the rightful duty of civil government to abate. The Constitution has NO place giving the national government any jurisdictioin over what we put into our bodies…. NONE. (that includes no basis for the FDA, and most of the activities of Ag).The "cvontrolled substances act" is totally illegal, and has no basis in law at the federal level. End it. Men like Mr. Aaron are vitims of a corrupt "judicial" system.

  10. something is WRONG with Gary? He is a constitutionalist, and, as I explained above, there is NO basis in the COnstitutioni granting federal government authority over what we put into our bodies. There is also a strong case from the Constitution that precludes such "crimes" from carrying the weight of "high crimes and misdemeanors: that mught involve federal level prosecution. In other words, this entire case has NO basis when one "plays by the rules" laid out in our constitutioni, the basis of the operation of our country, which, last I looked, in theory at least, remains a nation under "rule of law" not "rule of power and opinion".

    Further, Gary refers to the BIBLICAN standard for "crimes", the basis of action for the "civil magistrate" (the "state") which is God's basis for establishing civil government in the first place. "to bear the sword against those who do harm", Pray tell, what HARM did this man, Mr. Aaron, perpetrate by his mere uninvolved presence as that "drug deal" took place? If none, which is what Mr. North and myself hold to be the case, then there is NO basis for the "civil magistrate" (the state) to act against him. The COnstitution also prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment". If this isn't in that cetegory I can't imagine what might be. Consider the inane fuss made over "waterboarding" prisonners of war to get needed information out of them (bearing in mind they are not even SUBJECT to our Constitution as they are not resident within our shores, and are enemy combatants taken prisoner in the field), as "cruel and unusual punishment and thbus proibited….. and here this man, by dint of his mere uninvolved presence, likely ignorant oif all taking place during the staged raid), gets three life sentences? Come ONNNN, man….. and you chastise Gary North? On what REAL basis??

  11. The boondoggle to dishonest police forces is too great, they’ll never get rid of this perversion of the law that allows police to blatantly steal your property. They are now in the business of contriving reasons to pull you over and accuse you of something outrageous in order to steal your property. There is something to be said for using rental cars across unfamiliar jurisdictions… especially in the South.

  12. Nanna Gail says:

    dalek: It is not very well written, so I am wondering if this young man was part of the group BUYINGor SELLING, but, witnessed the deal go down, but not actually "involved" in the DEAL.

    Even if this were the scenario, HE should have been paroled years ago. He most certainly should have been out of prison years BEFORE THE ACTUAL DEALERS.

  13. That's what I was wondering too. Was he the guy behind the whole thing and had the other guys doing the dirty work. Sort of like some dealers have kids moving drugs around to the street or even has kids doing the dealing.

    I think we need more info than this article gives.

  14. Thing is, Ron Paul is not going to get what he wants. He's lost the nomination again. It's not the first but I hope it is the last time.

  15. Taiji218 says:

    Tionico, Gary's a Christian Reconstructionist. There are strong elements of constitutionalism, libertarianism and also conservatism in Gary's political perspective but at the same time there are significant differences. Gary wrote a lengthy book "Conspiracy in Philadelphia" which described the almost cloak-and-daggar secrecy behind the writing of the Constitution and how it subverted the original Christian charter of the United States in favor of Rhode Island's secularist agenda.

    And to AD Roberts: I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Gary is far better read in the areas of American government than you could ever hope to be in your wildest fantasies. You're most likely an intellectual Munchkin going against an intellectual Hulk Hogan in a rhetorical UFC. Your first time here?

  16. As a proud southerner, and a libertarian, I find that last little bit to be unnecessarily antagonistic. Perhaps you watch too many movies that portray us all as dumb backwards rednecks… I'm not sure.. In any event, it was completely irrelevant to the subject at hand.

  17. I'm a retired law enforcement officer and there is something very wrong with this story. To be sentenced to prision one would have to be found guilty of a felony. Felony crimes are either specific intent or implied criminal intent. Being a witness to a crime and nothing else fits neither of these. We all witness crimes all the time, should we all be locked up? There is nothing in the law that requires you to testify but rather the constitution gives you the protection of remaining silent. Exactly what crime was this guy convicted of???

  18. Welcome to the United States of Arrestia. Looking for reason or logic or fairness from the gummint? Good luck!