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LIGHT SENTENCE PROVES INEQUITY OF JUSTICE SYSTEM

I totally disagree with the sentence given to Harold "Skip" Smallwood, the county's former deputy commissioner of youth services. Mr. Smallwood was charged with conspiracy to purchase and distribute 25 grams or less of cocaine.

According to the FBI, he made some of the drug arrangements over a telephone in the county's detention facility on East Ferry Street. He was sentenced to three years of probation and 600 hours of community service despite a recommendation from federal prosecutors that he should serve some prison time.

This judicial action reported in The News' article is a prime example of how some government officials have gone bad and have started becoming involved personally in the drug trade. But because these individuals hold a position of prominence, they spend little, if any, time in jail.

If this were a case where a petty drug dealer of cocaine was caught with 25 grams or less, on a street corner, with the intention of selling, he would have spent some time behind bars, ranging from months to years.

I think that it is yet another social inequity handed down by our court system. Just because a person holds an influential position in the community should not mean that he or she should be considered above the law and get preferential treatment above someone who may not have a job but who committed the same crime.

In all cases, those who commit crimes should be treated equally and fairly.

CASSANDRA JOHNSON
Buffalo

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