Another victim of the American government’s War on Drugs bit the dust this week when a judge sentenced him to three years in a federal prison for the “crime” of smuggling more than a ton of cocaine into the U.S. on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel.
If three years doesn’t sound like a lot of time in stir for sneaking more than 2,000 pounds of blow across the border, you’re right. It’s actually a trifling sentence compared to what your average drug smuggler would get from the feds for the “crime” of bringing in just a single ounce of cocaine. Twenty years to life is not an unusual sentence in such circumstances.
You see, the federal persecutors in the War on Drugs equate the “crime” of trafficking in recreational substances like marijuana or cocaine right up there with murder, rape and armed robbery.
“It’s not a victimless crime,” croaked the judge who handed down the sentence. “This is a huge drug operation and Mr. Sharp (the defendant) was right in the middle of it.”
But just exactly who was the victim here? The judge didn’t say. Whether the amount of the drugs was large or small there was plainly no victim of Mr. Sharp’s “crime,” nor are there any victims of any similar “crimes.” No victim was identified. No victim testified in court about being victimized by Mr. Sharp. So in reality, Mr. Sharp is the only victim here.
Buying, selling, transporting and using recreational drugs are deemed “crimes” in the never ending American War on Drugs, not because there are any victims, which is the situation with real crimes, but solely because the government Authority has decided to prosecute the conduct as “crimes.”
It decides what drugs are “legal” and which are not, and the existence or not of a victim does not even enter the analysis. Here the judge simply imagined victims out of nothing in order to justify the defendant’s punishment.
It’s the same with prostitution, gambling and all other factually victimless crimes. The government has to manufacture from nothing the fanciful existence of victims in order to justify prosecuting the conduct as crimes.
So, in my opinion, Mr. Sharp should have received no sentence at all, nor should anyone else deemed “guilty” of the “crime” of which he was convicted in court. But why did he receive three years in prison for his “crime” while the average drug mule Joe in the same situation will get twenty years or more?
Mr. Sharp is 90 years old, that’s why. Mr. Sharp received a bronze star for valor in World War II, that’s why. He’s a war hero, that’s why. He and his lawyer pleaded with the court for mercy upon those facts alone, arguing that it would be “cruel and thoughtless” to send him to prison for those reasons.
“Mr. Sharp is part of a great generation… before we were even born, he was on top of mountains fighting Nazis. That’s not how we honor our heroes whether they’ve fallen from grace or not,” declared the lawyer.
In other words, it’s perfectly OK to lock up others for the same “crime” and throw away the key, but if the accused is a 90-year-old war hero, why then it’s cruel and thoughtless. That’s justice in the War on Drugs. There are many victims in the War on Drugs. Even 90-year–old war hero’s can become victims in the War on Drugs.
But what does old war hero have to do with it?