The world is a big, bad place. It really is. Which is why we have to protect children. No one will argue with that. Which is why there are tons of laws on the books criminalizing conduct that harms children, for the most part with extra penalties. I agree.
One of these laws is the prohibition against selling drugs in a school zone (or within a certain radius around a school, park or some other such location where children congregate). Whatever your views on drugs, I think you would be hard pressed to argue against the notion that children need not be in the presence of drugs or drug activity. We certainly don’t want drugs being sold in the presence of children. Someone sells drugs within 1500 feet of a school, they’re arrested and prosecuted (although in a state like CT, you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot that isn’t within 1500 feet of a school).
So why, then, do police engage in a very curious practice? Those who practice criminal law probably know what I’m about to say.
Cops target a dealer, perhaps making a hand-to-hand through an undercover officer. That’s not enough and they want more. So they arrange to make another purchase and another. Sometimes, they arrange for these transactions to take place in a parking lot of a pharmacy. Sometimes, coincidentally, the parking lot is within 1500 feet of a school.
Arresting a suspect for sale of narcotics isn’t enough – they want to tack on the added punishment of a sale w/in 1500 feet. So to accomplish that, they lure the suspect to a location they know to be w/in 1500 feet of a school.
If we are supposed to be protecting children from this behavior, then why are cops setting up such behavior in the presence of the very children we are trying to protect?
Curious, isn’t it?