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Old May 5, 2011, 10:10 PM   #1
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As some of you know, I am a newspaper reporter and photographer. I covered a doctor and her husband, Dr. Mollie Fry and Dale Schaffer, turning themselves into the federal building in Sacramento, California to begin serving five year prison terms for recommending and providing marijuana to patients. Although legal under California law, the federal government from the Bush administration into Obama has pursued the pair for 10 years. With appeals exhausted, except for clemency from the president, they turned themselves in on May 2 to go to prison. It was quite a media event with a rally on the federal building steps to protest their sentences. Number 1: A speaker from Americans for Safe Access, an organization that supports medical marijuana. Number 2: Mollie and Dale. Number 3: Law enforcement waiting to take them away. Number 4: Dr. Fry addressing the crowd. Number 5: Last walk into the building to go to prison.
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Old May 6, 2011, 6:20 AM   #2
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Despite harsh light and potentially adverserial conditions, your talents for people photography shine through!
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Old May 6, 2011, 9:11 AM   #3
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Thanks Mole. It was interesting and sad at the same time. The guy with the Nikon was in their face, shooting a high FPSs just inches at times from them. They, of course, wanted as much media as possible, so it wasn't a problem. I took a distance approach, using the Tamron 18-250.
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Old May 6, 2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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A good series for photojournalism. Nicely done, the series does capture the circus that it must have been (and I'm sure you are right that they had wanted to have as much press coverage as possible).
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Old May 7, 2011, 1:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hnikesch View Post
Our tax dollars at work, 10 years of making lawyers rich at tax payers expense for what trying to relieve pain and suffering.
Sorry, but couldn't let this one go. Your statement wasn't logical. Lawyers defending criminals aren't getting rich at taxpayer expense. They are either payed large sums by the criminals that they are defending or, in the case of a public defender, they aren't being paid much at all.

The lawyers prosecuting the criminals are paid the same salary whether they prosecute these specific criminals or not.

If they broke the law, they should be prosecuted, regardless of their "good intentions".
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Old May 7, 2011, 11:11 AM   #6
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I didn't want this to become a political rally, but when you look at just the money it is amazing what comes out. The more interesting way to look at the money issue is know that the cost to house a federal prisoner is $27,251 per year. So, with ten years for the pair it will cost $272,510 for their crime of having over 100 plants they grew to give to patients. What is even more interesting is that the 100 plants, that qualified them for the federal law requiring mandatory five year sentences, were collected over three years. They never had more 37 plants at a time in their garden. As for the lawyers, federal prosecutors make between $50,000 and $350,000 per year. So, for the ten years in prison and the 10 years the federal government pursued them, we're talking about a hell of a lot of money for 100 marijuana plants. One more shot just to keep this about photography. Dale speaking to the crowd.
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Old May 7, 2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pboerger View Post
I didn't want this to become a political rally, but when you look at just the money it is amazing what comes out. The more interesting way to look at the money issue is know that the cost to house a federal prisoner is $27,251 per year. So, with ten years for the pair it will cost $272,510 for their crime of having over 100 plants they grew to give to patients. What is even more interesting is that the 100 plants, that qualified them for the federal law requiring mandatory five year sentences, were collected over three years. They never had more 37 plants at a time in their garden. As for the lawyers, federal prosecutors make between $50,000 and $350,000 per year. So, for the ten years in prison and the 10 years the federal government pursued them, we're talking about a hell of a lot of money for 100 marijuana plants. One more shot just to keep this about photography. Dale speaking to the crowd.
I'm sure you didn't intend it to become political, but the very subject is bound to become political. If the earlier poster hadn't made such an illogical/irrational political comment, I wouldn't have responded. Again, the federal prosecutors are being paid whether they prosecute these two or not, so their pay is a moot point. That being said, the truth is that you're about $200,000 high in your claim of the pay of federal prosecutors. Here are the facts from the Dept. of Justice web site (http://www.justice.gov/oarm/arm/hp/hpsalary.htm):

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In L.A., the vast majority of them would have to move 50 or 60 miles out of town to afford a 3 bedroom house. I wouldn't exactly call that getting rich. I'd recommend checking the "facts" quoted in the propaganda spewed by the left wing supporters of these clowns before you repeat them. As far as the cost to imprison criminals, it's a necessary cost of having a criminal justice system and I'm sure that they will probably have fines imposed, taken from the more than 7 figures (that's over a million bucks, for those mathematically challenged) that they made dealing their drugs that will more than pay for the cost of incarceration, not to mention the fact that they were offerred an EXTREMELY lenient plea bargain where only 1 of them would serve 1.5 years in jail, so it's their stubborn arrogance & lack of respect for the law that's costing the taxpayers money. As weak as the criminal justice system is in California, the one who served the prison sentence probably would have been out in 5 or 6 months with time off for "good behavior". As it is they'll probably serve less than 2 years of their actual sentence, so your numbers are dramatically overstated. All they had to do was actually operate within the law, do PROPER background checks and validate medical conditions of their so called "patients" and they wouldn't have been prosecuted, much less convicted. The jury took less than 3 hours to return a guilty verdict. The evidence against them was overwhelming. They're really just a front for those who want to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes so that THEY can get rich. Otherwise, they would have complied with the law.

By the way, good job on the photography. It's tough to get good shots in a chaotic environment like that one. Just trying to keep this about photography.
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Old May 8, 2011, 10:14 AM   #8
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Jerry. We could easily fact check each other back and forth forever (yes, I could refute each of your points). I have asked the admin to delete the thread as it has become about politics not photography. Final comment. I am still amazed at how intrusive the guy with the Nikon got, as he wound up shooting from his knees, his face right at Dale's belly, firing straight up into his face on full FPS.
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Old May 8, 2011, 2:15 PM   #9
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Again, your shots were good under tough circumstances. I appreciate the effort it takes to shoot in a crowd like that one. I also noticed that you showed no consternation at comments which were solely political in nature (hnikesch's comments), which had nothing to do with photography whatsoever, but were of your same political persuasion. This is the typical type of response I've come to expect from "journalist". If you were truly only wanting comments on the photography you would have shown consternation at his/her comments as well. In addition, you supported his/her comments with additional political commentary along the same vein. By the way, you can't refute my facts, otherwise they wouldn't be facts. It's a basic rule of logic called the rule of non-contradiction: "a" can't equal "a" and "not-a" at the same time. You could, however, disagree with the conclusions.

Keep taking good photos and try to be a rarity now days: a truly objective journalist.

Cheers,
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Old May 9, 2011, 1:54 AM   #10
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Terrific series
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