Newsbrief: New Mexico Governor Commutes Sentence of Raped Prisoner 6/7/02

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New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, the highest US elected official to advocate for radical drug law reform, commuted the six-year theft sentence of Belinda Dillon after three jail guards convicted of sexually assaulting her received lesser prison sentences than the one she was serving, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

According to a press release from the governor's office, Dillon, who was drug dependent at the time of her arrest, was convicted of stealing a small amount of money and sent to the slammer despite the wishes of the theft victim that she not be imprisoned. While serving time at the Dona Ana County Detention Center, Dillon was sexually assaulted by guards over a two-month period. Of the six guards implicated in the attacks, three were eventually found guilty of criminal sexual penetration or attempted criminal sexual penetration. Two of the convicted officers got 18-month sentences, while a third got one year in prison.

"Belinda Dillon is a victim of the drug war and this state's drug problems," Johnson said in the release. "She received a harsh sentence for her nonviolent crimes while yet those who abused and mistreated her received collectively less time for their sexual offenses. It is morally and ethically appropriate to restore some semblance of justice to this situation by commuting her remaining sentence," said Johnson.

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Issue #240, 6/7/02 Editorial: Time for Action | Feds Move to Seize LA Cannabis Resource Center, Hunger Strike Underway | Medical Marijuana Supporters Turn to Civil Disobedience, Direct Action | Rave Regulation Bill Passes California Assembly on Unanimous Vote, Heads for Senate | Cops Jockey for More Drug War Funds in Wake of FBI Revamp | Hot Topic: Adolescent Drug Treatment Abuse Conference Begins in St. Petersburg Tomorrow | Newsbrief: Wiretaps Up, Drug Investigations Behind Most, Feds Report | Newsbrief: New Mexico Governor Commutes Sentence of Raped Prisoner | Newsbrief: Fort Worth Police Chief Dares to Cut DARE | Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Harvest Estimated at 3,000 Tons | Newsbrief: Buds in Bhutan | Media Scan: Arianna Huffington | Grant Program: Tides Foundation RFPs for Latin America, Prop. 36 Implementation and Overdose Prevention | New DRCNet/ Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available | The Reformer's Calendar

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