That said, I hereby invite organized labor to undertake an enterprise far more useful than any they've been up to lately: launch the International Brotherhood of Drug War Victims.
What's the sales pitch for joining and -- in the case of those who can afford it -- paying sizable dues into our new war chest?
Simple: Our freedom-hating, pain-loving War on Drugs depends on the tactic of "overcharging," and then offering attractive deals -- reduced charges, easier sentences -- in exchange for guilty pleas. Fewer than 5 percent of all drug cases ever go to trial.
Again, the drug war depends on this -- if every drug arrest led to a trial, the courts would be so swamped that some defendants couldn't be scheduled for trial dates for many years into the future. Their attorneys could then win complete dismissal of all charges based on the violation of the constitutional right to a speedy trial.
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For the record, I have followed the code of refusing to plead guilty and demanding a jury trial. November of 2006 will mark FOUR YEARS since this began and I am still awaiting a trial by a jury of my peers. If it doesn't happen soon I think I will have grounds to have it dismissed because it has been anything but a speedy trial.