Thursday, April 27, 2006

Berkshire DA campaigns with tough on teenagers platform

This should be interesting. The DA responsible for prosecuting teenagers under the school zone law in the Bershires sting is up for re-election. Capeless is unapologetic for his heavy handed tactics against the teens who were entrapped by a questionable undercover operation in Great Barrington. While Capeless also touts his success in prosecuting a major adult dealer in the area, he says, ""I have a very clear message ... to anyone here in Berkshire County or anyone who would think about coming to set up shop here: If you make the decision to sell drugs, we will catch you and we will prosecute you."

He doesn't mention how he feels about near children being tricked and practically browbeaten into obtaining marijuana for adult cops. He goes on to say, "I support rehabilitation and counseling for those who are ravaged by the problem of drug abuse that affects our society. But I have no sympathy ... (for) the people who will take advantage of drug abuse, who will try to profit from that misery."

He also notes that anyone willing to rat out their supplier can win leniency from his office. His opponent, Judith C. Knight, an attorney who successfully won an acquittal at the trial of one of these young defendants, says not every one of these teens was given the opportunity to cooperate. Knight says "she would take a 'reasoned approach' to drug prosecutions, seeking to punish the hardcore dealers and to find a better alternative for minor, first-time offenders."

Capeless has the political connections and the experience. Knight has a common sense rather than a vindictive approach to justice. We'll be watching this race to see if the voters recognize the difference.


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