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"Our 51st State"

Enclosed please find a drawing that my son, Michael Charros, drew. I'm sure you remember the plight that he, his wife and his entire family have been withstanding for almost two years now.

Hopefully, our legislatures will some time soon see that the Massachusetts mandatory laws are very unfair and unjust and do something about changing them, especially when it comes to first - time, non-violent drug offenders.

Judges, not law enforcement, should weigh out each case individually - look into the person's records, their work ethics, their familial status, their community roots, etc. before allowing sentences like Mike (17 1/2 years) and Gerry (7 1/2 years) received for their first- time offences.

With the United States being the leading jailer in the civilized world, how appropriate and true this is but, at the same time, very sad. Thank you for reading my letter.

Picture By Michael Charros, Letter By Dolores Charros (mother)
September 6, 2003

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