Will legacy of Tulia kill bucks-for-busts policing?

Tuesday, April 15, 2003 at 12:00am

America is a level playing field. So, naturally, college admissions policies should never take race into account at all. At least that's what the Bush administration argued in front of the Supreme Court lately.

But instead of spending an enormous amount of time obsessing about African-American candidates to the University of Michigan receiving special treatment, maybe the White House should focus on a genuinely pernicious form of affirmative action: the special treatment blacks get when it comes to jail admissions.

The damning fact is that while blacks make up 13 percent of drug users, they account for 74 percent of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Doesn't sound too much like Bush's shining ideal of colorblindness to me.

If you want to put some flesh and blood to these harsh numbers, cast your eyes on Texas, where a judge and special prosecutor agreed last week to throw out every last conviction stemming from the now notorious Tulia drug sting

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