Festival’s ‘collateral damage’ worries juror

Dear editor,

This is in response to a letter in the Aug. 18, Rockdale Reporter from Jonathan Rizer entitled “Nocturnal Fest not rave.”

Having never attended Nocturnal Fest, my perspective is from a different point of view and one that is often overlooked.

That is the collateral cost to society and the damage done to the young people convicted of drug offenses at Nocturnal Fest.

I served on the spring, 2011, grand jury and observed a preponderance of our cases being the result of arrests at Nocturnal Fest.

I would be the first to say that our drug laws need to be changed but as long as it is against the law to consume and distribute substances such as ecstasy the legal system has no choice but to enforce that law.

The dollar cost to us, the tax payers, for the county sheriff, highway patrol, and the local police departments plus the district attorney, district judge, and then the incarceration system to deal with such as Nocturnal Fest is phenomenal.

I applaud fully restaurants and motels and recognize the economic impact of such as Nocturnal Fest.

But, there is more to the story. As a grand juror all I could see is us, as a society, spending a lot of money and saddling these students and young people with a felony offense that will haunt them the rest of their lives.

Do I have a partial solution? Maybe. To achieve the desired end, safe roads and highways, when everyone has arrived at the event, lock the gate and don’t open it until the end, three days later, and everyone is sober and in control of his faculties.

Collier Perry

PO Box 1048


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