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Former prosecutor and judge talk about opioid policy



(3TV / CBS 5) –

As a former Supreme Court Justice, Paul Katz has overseen many criminal cases, including the notorious murder trial of Richard Horwitz in the early '90s

"And earlier in my career, I spent almost seven years as a federal attorney here in Arizona in the Prosecutor of the United States, "he says.

And from this experience, he believes that legislators misunderstand when it comes to the opioid crisis. "We've got more retaliation and imprisonment, then we're dealing with rehabilitation and treatment."

Katz believes that the law passed recently in Arizona is a start. And while he applauds money for the treatment, he would like to see more. He also worries that too much focus will be placed on physicians who prescribe painkillers. "And it's somewhere between one and a maximum of five percent of people who are prescribed opiates that become addictive," he explains.

And here Katz can also speak from a much more personal place. "My son, who is now 31

years old about 5 years ago, started with pills," says Katz. "He got them on the street or from friends, he did not get them for a knee injury or a sports injury."

These pills not only led to heroin addiction, but also to a criminal offense. This is something Katz does not believe should happen. "If it is below what we now call" threshold amount, "and it is the first time, and they are drug users or drug users, I would wish it was not criminal at all, but if it becomes criminal, treat it as And give the person the opportunity to go to a rehabilitation clinic. "

Katz says it's easy to say that the jail threat will force the addicts to quit, but that's not the case. "But if the district attorney or any federal or prosecutor thinks to hold the crime gun to someone's head will help heal it, it will not do it because they do not think like you or I think I do not want to get a crime conviction "They are worried about undergoing deprivation."

Katz's son avoided a crime fidelity by calling a distraction program called TASC, but Katz himself says the problem does not address. "It's not a treatment program," he says.

In addition to more money for treatment, he hopes that lawmakers will work through a bill of exchange bill that is now "I know that our district attorney has expressed disagreement or dissatisfaction because he thinks it will encourage addicts to keep going." Addicts do not think as Bill Montgomery or Paul Katz or you, Jay, think, they are not rational. "

And he's worried about a bill that will be used by those who sell opiates too In turn, seek employment attorneys, judges and police officers, but it's not good for society, "says Katz,

which makes even worse speeches Concerning the President, who in some cases demands the death sentence, Katz believes that this is not the answer. "We do not want to kill people just because they are Take drugs. We want to help you. And we do not want them to commit any other crimes.

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