Trio's arrest pits prosecutorial duty against public health issue
Jaime Castillo: Express-News
And looking the other way is especially difficult when, like Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed, you have a reputation as the law-and-order type.
But it's hard to imagine the community is going to be a better place if the book is thrown at 73-year-old Bill Day, 67-year-old Mary Casey and 39-year-old Melissa Lujan.
In broad daylight, Day and his fellow members of Bexar Area Harm Reduction Coalition were trading clean syringes for dirty ones in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis.
Approached by the officer, Day explained what they were doing and produced a typical syringe kit for his inspection.
That program, which would be the first legally sanctioned one in Texas, has been put on hold until the attorney general's office rules on Reed's contention that the legislation that created it was faulty.
The upshot is this: On the day of the alleged offense, Day, Casey and Lujan were each cited on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia — a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.