Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Going for the Capillaries

Local columnist Mark O'Brien goes right for the capillaries today, complaining that "something is out of whack with a justice system in which tax cheats get less time than drug abusers who had otherwise clean records."

What has O'Brien so excited that he missed the jugular is news that Frank Patti is getting "two years knocked off his prison sentence" for testifying against his ex-girl friend and son-in-law, and will "come home next week while people who basically traded and sold cocaine among themselves -- the so-called Sandshaker case -- will continue to sit behind bars."

There isn't much correspondence between the two cases. Fish-monger Frank Patti's case was low comedy. The Sandshaker drug bust wound up mostly as a tragedy, at least for the recreational drug users who were convicted. Everything else was different: motive, means, risk to the public, resultant harm, the monetary stakes, etc.

They differ, too, in the degree to which the defendants showed genuine remorse. The majority of Sandshaker defendants admitted their guilt at once. Frank Patti, on the other hand, bumped a car into a museum display locomotive as prosecutors were closing in on him, then fooled around for months trying to hoodwink the federal court into believing he had amnesia for everything that happened after Aug. 18, 1990.

Meanwhile, he tried to make a pay-off to others who said they could fix the case for a fee.

Strictly comparing the two cases, O'Brien may be right. But he's missed the larger point: It's not the easy treatment of Frank Patti that is scandalous, it's our nation's drug sentencing laws. They are racist, regressive, and retributive -- not rehabilitative. Ultimately, they will ruin a large part our society and bankrupt the rest.

Check it out, Mark, starting here and here. The injustice has little to do with going easy on tax cheats. It has everything to do with the reprehensible drug sentencing laws our elected law-makers have enacted.


Anonymous said...

Frank Patti is more than just a conniving tax cheat whose antics constitute "low comedy." He is still, in 2011, breaking municipal, state, and federal laws with abandon.

He publicly berates his employees, calling them "stupid bitches," "assholes," "cunts," "niggers" and "gooks." He makes it very clear that African-Americans will not be hired (out of 120 employees at the Joe Patti Seafood Co. only two or three are black), and his general manager (a former convicted felon named Cecilia Hagan) enforces the rule. None of these people have any interest in Federal Fair Employment statutes.

He also skirts around paying water bills by diverting well water that he has been warned about using.

All of this is verifiable and all of it is astonishing given his criminal past. Brazen acts by a man who considers himself above the law.

W.R.Enfinger said...

Just wondering why you are Anonymous? How do you know these things to be facts? What is your motivation? I know that He has done alot for Charitable Organizations and assisted people going through hardships and crisis times in their lives, A persons Life should be measured throughout their lifetime not in the mistakes we all succumb to at the weak times.