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Crack Cocaine Trafficking

December 17, 1989

Let me get this straight: Lawmakers in the United States assemble a bill which is turned into law and a federal judge sentences a man precisely pursuant to that law and it rates a front-page article?

There was sufficient research done on the article about the sentencing of the crack peddler by Williams that readers were treated to the droolings of law professors that life sentences are not going to solve the drug problem and only engender a sense of hopelessness.

What the hell does the drug problem itself do for the people in the south end of Los Angeles where the defendant was peddling his wares? That sense of hopelessness has pervaded their community ever since the limp-wristed sentences that other judges have handed down convinced the traffickers that society doesn't really mean what the law says.

It isn't Judge Williams who is out of step. Five and a half ounces of crack at the street level is not a small amount! When it is projected into the number of young lives which it will affect, Judge Williams' sentence is a refreshing look at reality.

CHARLES D. REESE

South Pasadena

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