Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, August 17, 2007

I get it, drugs are bad...

But this is fucking ridiculous.

Here's the gist of it - a 74-year-old woman is convicted of conspiracy to traffic crack cocaine, and sentence to 24 years in prison.

OK, it might be stretching it a little to think that Granny was a player in a crack ring, but I could certainly believe that she knew what her kids were doing and didn't do anything to stop it. I could also believe that if somebody came by for a pickup and the kids weren't home, Granny maybe took the money and passed out a rock or two.

But in her words, "My real crime ... was refusing to testify against my sons, children of my womb, that were conceived, birthed and raised with love," Groves wrote in a 2001 letter to November Coalition, a non-profit organization rallying support to free her and others sentenced to prison for long stretches on drug offenses.

So since she wouldn't testify against her own children, she got locked up for the rest of her life. Alright, fine. Drugs are bad, mkay? I get it. And we've absolutely got to win the war on drugs, since it's far more important than keeping people from killing each other, and maybe this granny did spawn a couple of real badasses who were shooting up the trailer park to protect their territory, but here's the bit that gets me.

They coulda let her die at home, and didn't. This old woman knew that she was dying, it was evident to the prison officials that she was dying, and they refused her request to let her leave prison and die at home. I'm pretty sure that an 86-year-old woman on her deathbed wasn't going to go out and sling a few more rocks of cocaine before she went to meet her maker, and it's not like she was ever convicted (or charged with) a violent crime at any rate. So what would have been the harm in allowing an old woman a little bit of dignity in her last days?

None, except maybe some dickhead prosecutor can point to someone else and say that she "rotted in prison." Well, now she's dead, and it's too bad it's a women's prison, because she didn't even open up a bed for Michael Vick.

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