Friday, July 15, 2005

"Great Barrington 18" trials begin

We've been following this case since last fall.

The first trials have started and the local press is not sympathetic to the DA. Capeless is way out on a limb with this one and I think he may find himself in freefall before this is over. I certainly hope so. He deserves it for this irresponsible and inhumane breach of prosecutorial discretion. The whole case stinks of entrapment besides. The kids say the undercover cop hounded them for drugs and not only smoked with them, but also bought them beer.

We're talking high school kids here and nonsensically small amounts of marijuana. Capeless wants to send these kids to jail for two years over as little as one joint. He used the enhancements to move the case up to Superior Court when the customary choice across the state is to send the kids into rehab programs via the District Court and issue community service sentences.

Public sentiment is against Capeless. A group of parents formed Concerned Citizens for Appropriate Justice and gathered 2000 signatures on a petition protesting Capeless' tactics. Even former federal prosecutor, Carl Stewart, who served under Nixon, Ford and Carter, weighed in with a killer LTE on school zone enhancements in general.

Hopefully the beginning of these ill-advised trials will signal the end of Capeless' tenure in the DA's office.

Thanks to Mass Cann for providing the updates. By the way, these guys are still really hurting for money after being wiped out last year by the hurricane so please help them if you can.


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