THE CRIME PREVENTION GROUP
                                 8401 18 MILE ROAD #29
                        STERLING HEIGHTS MI 48313-3042

                                                                   (810) 739-8343
                                                           E-Mail lpletten@tir.com
                                                                                                                      Leroy J. Pletten, Ph.D.
                                                                                                                                                         Medicine and Law History
                                                                                                                                                          Substance Abuse Issues
                                                                                                                                                           Counselor and Lecturer

                                        17 November 1998

Charles R. Perricone

Speaker-Elect, House of Representatives
521 Olds Plaza Building
Lansing MI 48933

Dear Speaker-Elect Perricone:

        1.  Congratulations on your selection.  I wish you well.

        2. According to The Detroit News, 11-17-98, page 1D,  "Gun control, death penalty may be new House priorities."

        3. As a Crime Prevention Officer (appointed 1976), I am concerned by the article, "Wrongly convicted people lead death penalty protest," Detroit Free Press, 11-16-98, page 4A.  I have seen that far too many errors are made in the judicial process.

        4.  Unlike the scientific method, which requires numerous showings over and over, sometimes for years, decades, centuries, before a fact is concluded, judges arrogantly insist that once is enough!!   And by amateurs no less -- jurors untrained in fact analysis.

            a. Everyone else in the process must study for years, read intensely, and be tested repeatedly.  Incredibly, unlearned juries decide cases based on listening -- an ineffective learning tool apart from reading, studying, and testing over a period of years to determine mastery of the subject and what is being learned.

            b. In no other occupation do we have such a bizarre concept -- amateurs deciding facts, one chance to do it, no checking to see if they understood what they were hearing, and errors not being fixed as a matter of course, but only after a vast struggle.

            5.  Worse, in Briscoe v LaHue, 460 US 325 (1983), the Supreme Court 6-3 (the 3 dissenters are now off the court) denies innocent people the right to monetary redress when perjured testimony is used to convict.  Reason:  Under King George III and English common law, perjury was allowed.  The Constitution banned some abuses by George III and common law (e.g., warrantless searches), but not that one, ergo, perjury is still allowed!!   I am offended morally by such a travesty being allowed by the law of the land.  I would personally refuse to commit perjury even if ordered by superiors to do so.

6. However, such scruples are rare.  In the profession, it is well known that pro-conviction perjury
"is recognized by the defense bar, winked at by the prosecution, ignored by the judiciary, and unknown to the general public."
Sources:  Sevilla, "The Exclusionary Rule and Police Perjury," 11 San Diego Law Rev 839 (1974); and People v McMurty, 64 Misc 2d 63; 314 NYS2d 194 (1970).  Legislators do not even hold hearings on pro-conviction perjury being authorized.

        7.  Official lawbreaking is rampant, setting a bad example for the people.  Source:  Lieberman, How the Government Breaks the Law (NY: Stein and Day, 1972).

        8. The government itself promotes drug abuse and undermines the war on drugs on a routine basis, though knowing that mind-altering drugs producing abulia are the 80% factor in crime.  Source:  McCoy, The Politics of Heroin (NY: Harper and Row, 1972); Levine, The Big White Lie (NY: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993); and Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA (NY: W. W. Norton and Co, 1987).

9. Bribery scandals among judges and police accordingly arise.  Reason: crime is good business--having crimes occur, then accepting bribes is lucrative.  Sources:  Lockwood and Mendenhall, Operation Greylord (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ Press, 1989); and Tuohy and Warden: Greylord, Justice Chicago Style (NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1989).

10. Such misconduct combined with the threat of retaliation for whistleblowing, demoralizes honest law enforcers.  The Knapp Commission Report on Police Corruption (1972) found widespread corruption, and worse, with rare exceptions, found that those officers who don't do corrupt activities, take no steps to prevent what they know or suspect that others do -- lest they themselves be ostracized as whistleblowers, or worse, fragged (an "accident").

11. But even were all the foregoing somehow magically whisked away, there is an even more fundamental reason for why Michigan banned the death penally.  Back then, people were better educated on this subject than now; they knew that the mind-altering gateway drug, tobacco, leads to crime.  90% of criminals are smokers.  Those 19th century educated people banned providing people a mind-altering drug; the law was upheld in People v Carmichael, 5 Mich 10; 71 Am Dec 769 (1858).  Banning mind-altering drugs is the No. 1 right way to do prevention.  Our educated ancestors knew that.

12. Drugs are the 80% factor in crime.  Tobacco is the 90% factor.  Tobacco is the first drug used in the drug sequence.  Tobacco is the introductory drug, the starter drug, the one with first onset -- age 12.  All others typically come later, alcholol, average age 12.6; marijuana, average age 14.  Tobacco is THE gateway drug.

         13. Michigan was an abolitionist state.  The Republican Party traces its origins to Michigan.  They well knew that tobacco is a slavery product, a Confederate product.   So tobacco was opposed by leading abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison.  (Abolitionists were also involved in prison reform).

         14. As the fact that tobacco leads to crime -- it is the 90% factor -- was widely publicized back then, Michigan's educated people also banned cigarettes by law, MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216.  The law is still on the books.  Educated people understood: no cigarettes = 90% less crime.  Children were taught this back then.

         15. Children were better educated on this than most adults now.  Ask most adults now, "what is the 90% factor in crime?"  They don't know!!  (They barely know that smoking is the 90% factor in lung cancer!!)

         16. Our 19th century ago ancestors were better educated on this; they knew that tobacco's high toxic chemicals cause abulia, the underlying factor in 90% of crime.  The famous Thomas Alva Edison wrote a widely publicized letter emphasizing cigarettes' adverse brain effects.  It was widely circulated to children.  Ask most people nowadays, "what is abulia?"  They don't know, likely never even heard of the word!!  The No. 1 underlying factor in crime, they never heard of it!!

         17. The grandchildren -- this generation -- don't know basics on this single most significant immediate precipitating factor in the crime causation/crime prevention subject.  Worse, they arrogantly assume that their grandparents didn't know anything either!!  That arrogance insults the grandparents.

        18.  People assume that what they personally don't know about crime causation, nobody knows.  And nobody ever knew.  What arrogance!

        19.  We don't need the death penalty.  We (well, at least, we educated people) know how to prevent 90% of crime, ban the 90% factor, cigarettes.

            a. Enforce the MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216 ban on the No. 1 cause of abulia -- the ban our grandparents bequeathed to us.

            b. To prevent crime, we need the anti-cigarette law enforced, first and foremost, as a crime prevention action.  (Not to mention the health effects, many of which were unknown back then, but the tobacco-crime link was known).

          20. Please schedule a legislative hearing on

                a. what our grandparents knew on this subject, and

                b. on the petition -- below -- being circulated, to get our grandparents' wise                      cigarette ban law MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216, enforced, thus prevent 90% of                      crime (along with the other tobacco effects).

         21. The abulic smoker who killed the four people in Holly is already getting the death penalty -- cigarettes will kill him.  That fact didn't deter him!!  Our ancestors were smart enough to understand, a death penalty doesn't deter.   Abulia can only be prevented, not cured/deterred.   90% of criminals are already getting the death penalty!   cigarette-induced death.

         22. In the legislative hearing, the record will show and I will testify to the benefits of enforcing our grandparents' cigarette ban law MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216:

         --90% less crime.
        --Fewer crime victims.
        --Win the war on drugs.
         --Save vast amounts of taxpayer money.
        --Close most prisons.
        --Thus show respect for our educated ancestors who knew how to prevent crime
            (prevent abulia, i.e., ban cigarettes, a mind-altering drug delivery agent).
        --And one last effect, lay offs of police, sheriff deputies, prison guards,
           prosecutors, drug testers, drug treatment people,  judges, and defense attorneys.

        Oh dear, that could be a problem, a conflict of interest!!  Perhaps at the hearing, some legislator will ask why MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216 is unenforced.  Is it a threat to "crime-fighter"  jobs?  Is crime prevention deemed a job killer??

            23. No, Mr. Speaker-Elect, we don't need capital punishment.  What we do need is respect for our ancestors; the facts herein cited that they knew; and enforcement of the mind-altering drug and cigarette bans that they bequathed to us.

            24. The newspaper says you are 38.  In 1976, 22 years ago, you were probably about 16-17 years old when I was appointed a Crime Prevention Officer.

            a. So I urge you, have respect for the knowledge of older persons who have studied the subject.

            b. From a crime prevention point of view, TCPG concern is that tobacco is the gateway drug.  There was a serious article by Drs. Bruner and Fishman of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, "Adolescents and Illicit Drug Use," in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol 280, pages 597-598 (19 August 1998).   Its conclusion included these key sentences on p 598,

"Adolescents need effective drug use prevention programs . . . Support for substance abuse . . . prevention . . . must come from all sides . . . policymakers."

         25.  Our 19th century ancestors knew this.  Michigan's cigarette ban law incorporates what Drs. Bruner and Fishman recommend, an "effective" approach, banning the starter drug.

26. The Michigan cigarette control law, MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216, is not "Prohibition."  The law is carefully worded.  It only bans the dangerous cigarettes!!  If tobacco sellers have safe ones, they can sell them!! So they can't scream the ephithet "Prohibition"!

         27. The real truth is that Prohibition's error was to FAIL TO BAN tobacco.  Instead, incompetently, in the post World War I anti-German feelings era, and not for medical reasons, Congress banned a post-gateway drug (alcohol) re which abuse is 90% by smokers.  See Hayes, et al., "Alcoholism and Nicotine Dependence Treatment,"15 J Addictive Diseases 135 (1996).  Repeat, the flaw in Prohibition was to FAIL TO BAN tobacco.  It banned an effect, not the cause.  It was as erroneous as banning lung cancer would be.

28. A cigarette ban embodies the wise old principle, "A stitch in time saves nine."  Prevent now, save problems later.

        29.  TCPG went to Governor John Engler and to his Director of Community Health, James K. Haveman, Jr.  He confirms the law in private letters to TCPG, and that there is no "legal" reason for the law to be unenforced.  Wherefore, I ask again, please schedule a legislative hearing on why the non-enforcement.

        30.  Incidently, it was I who reported over $130 billion costs of tobacco to society, in "Are You Missing $omething?" Smoke Signals, Vol 26, p 4 (Oct 1980).  This paper refuted the then pro-tobacco claim that it is a plus to society, or at least, did no more than $42 billion harm (a then accepted estimate).  Such data helped set the stage for the Attorney General litigation.   Before even pro-tobacco Attorneys General could want to recover costs, they had to believe there were costs to recover.  My October 1980 paper -- more devastating than the then accepted figure -- led the way in doing that.  But my intent was not merely to get cost recovery, but enforcement of the cigarette control laws.

         31. Our ancestors were wise.  They bequeathed to us good rules.  For example, in

        a. "Smoking as Hazardous Conduct,"  New York State Journal of Medicine, Vol 86, page 493 (Sep 1986) and

        b. "[Indoor Air Quality] Already Regulated," 3 Indoor Air Rev, Vol 3, page 3 (April 1993), I cite their giving us 29 CFR 1910.1000.  Tobacco smoke violates it, though it embodies long extant indoor air standards.  For example, the "speed limit" for carbon monoxide was 50 ppm, but cigarettes' carbon monoxide is at 500-1,500 ppm as cigarettes spew 42,000 ppm.   29 CFR 1910.1000 -- so important a rule against toxic chemicals that a copy is at virtually every library in America -- covers tobacco chemcials.  It is enforced on toxic chemicals, except the No. 1 killer, cigarette smoke!!   This is disrespect for what our ancestors bequeathed to us.

         32. In "Alternative Models for Controlling Smoking Among Adolescents," American Journal of Public Health, pages 869-870 (May 1997), I cited  four cigarette control laws including Michigan's.  For example, the Tennessee 1897 cigarette ban.  (The danger was known back then; contrary to myth, tobacco dangers are ancient history!!) :)  The law was challenged as unconstitutional.  The U.S. Supreme Court upheld it, Austin v State, 179 US 343 (1900).  Michigan followed that lead in its 1909 ban.

        33. People ask, How to raise tobacco and drug free kids?  Parents can't do it alone, and certainly not when constantly hindred and obstructed by violations of tobacco control laws, and kids being surrounded by pro-tobacco ads and sellers.  Parents deserve that the laws that our ancestors bequeathed to us, be enforced.         

34. That is why we are requesting your help.  In addition to scheduling a legislative hearing as above discussed, please sign the below Petition to the Attorney General, asking that a "cease and desist" order be issued, halting violations of the Michigan law.

35. Again, congratulations on your selection.  Now we need your help.  If some information herein is shocking to you, I'm sorry.  Such data simply shows the magnitude of the task placed upon you.  Let's work together to prevent crime, not fight it after the fact.

                                                                                                Respectfully,
                                                                                                Leroy J. Pletten
                                                                                                Leroy J. Pletten, Ph.D.
                                                                                                Crime Prevention Officer
                                                                                                (distinct from Crime Fighter)
                                                                                                      
Enclosure:  Petition Being Circulated To Get
                    MCL 750.27, MSA 28.216 Enforced
                    As A Crime Prevention Measure
Tragically, politicians prefer punishment to prevention. Medical researchers repeatedly since the 1850's have long shown amd reported how to prevent crime. However, U.S. politicians prefer punishment including massive and lucrative prison construction, and the death penalty, to prevention. U.S. media censor the research data on prevention, hence, aid and abet the causing of more crime, and punishment advocates, by suppressing the knowledge of the data.

As you see listed above and throughout our material, TCPG webpages identify the research (in overview and advocacy style) with medical journal references, examples at our Crime Prevention Site; our Drug Prevention Site; and our Alcoholism and Drunk Driving Prevention Site. We also provide a website with data showing a glimpse into the medical research technique and expertise as developed over centuries of experience.

TCPG favors systemic crime prevention, preventing the creating of new future criminals and thus new foreseeable victims, not a refusal to do that in favor of more punishment, more prison building, more pressure for capital punishment.

The malicious U.S. politician fetish against prevention but instead for more and more punishment (including capital punishment) for corrupt and racist reasons, is leading to worldwide condemnation and criticism, including recently from the Roman Pontiff on his 1999 trip to the U.S., and from international activists, including the respected Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty.








4-25-99