Jewish World Review May 20, 2002 / 9 Sivan, 5762

Bill O'Reilly

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Consumer Reports

Crimes against humanity | This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Rockefeller drug laws in New York State. The statutes' most severe provision requires that a judge impose a prison term of no less than 15 years to life for someone convicted of selling two ounces or possessing four ounces of a narcotic substance.

Now there is an outcry by some to revoke those laws. The argument goes like this: "Drug dealing is a non-violent offense, and the perpetrators need drug treatment since they are often addicts themselves. We are throwing away valuable lives by imposing draconian penalties on drug-involved offenders."

Are you buying that? Well, if you are, listen up. Selling hard drugs is not a "non-violent offense." Instead, it is a crime against humanity. A few days ago, a New Jersey couple in their early 20s sat down in front of an oncoming Amtrak train and were killed instantly. Authorities say the pair was addicted to heroin and spent thousands of dollars a month on the drug. Shortly before the suicide, the couple had been evicted from their apartment for non-payment of rent. Relatives say both individuals were in despair.

So what about the people who sold the heroin to these Americans? What is their responsibility? Some will argue the pushers have no responsibility, that the users make the choice. But that is nonsense. If nobody sold drugs, there would be no drug problem.

You may have also heard about little Rilya Wilson, the 4-year-old foster child in Florida who has been missing for 16 months. Rilya's mother is a crack addict. She had not contacted her child in nearly two years. When Rilya turned up missing, that despicable mother reportedly made noise about suing the state of Florida. It turned my stomach.

So what about the people who sold crack to Rilya's mother? Are they not partially responsible for the abandonment of the little girl?

When are Americans going to wise up? Drug dealing used to be considered the lowest form of human endeavor. Now it is glorified in some rap songs, and many misguided Americans have downgraded this terribly destructive crime to "non-violent."

The truth is that selling hard drugs to people who may die from using them, may become enslaved by addiction, may abuse their children while intoxicated, and may commit crimes to buy more drugs is a vile enterprise that should be condemned by society. The Rockefeller laws were passed to protect Americans from people who would prey upon them. The average pusher on the street sells to scores of people every day. The damage that person is doing is enormous. Yet when caught, the pusher is being portrayed as a victim of an unfair sentencing arrangement.

Here's the truth: In order to get sentenced under the Rockefeller Law, you have to be one bad seed. You have to have prior convictions or not cooperate with police in their investigation of the drug pipeline. In other words, you have to be hard-core. Yes, there are a few people that got caught up in something they didn't understand, but that is rare. Most of those doing hard time under Rockefeller are the dregs of the earth. Ask any district attorney. The overwhelming majority of them want to keep the harsh sentences in place.

But many in the establishment media find this attitude cruel and unusual. We have to try and rehab these people, they wail. It's just not fair.

Baloney. Dealing narcotics is a conscious choice. You just don't accidentally do it. It isn't a crime of passion, a spur-of-the-moment decision. Drug dealing is a nasty, hateful way to make a buck. It destroys lives. It corrupts children. It is unmerciful and brutal.

In short, selling hard drugs to another person is a crime against humanity. Do the crime, do the time.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate