The last issue of The Activist Guide featured the case of Daniel Billingsly, a fourteen year old from Idaho who was due to be tried as an adult under Idaho's Drug Free School Zone law for the sale of $40 worth of marijuana to one of his schoolmates. This story has a happy ending: Billingsly was tried as a minor instead; and though juvenile court proceedings are not public record, most cases like Billingsly's end with probation, not jail time.
According to attorney Timothy Gresback, Judge Judd and Prosecutor Douglas received about 50 letters from DRCNet subscribers and other supporters. Prosecutor Douglas changed his tune dramatically before the end of the case: he had previously justified trying Billingsly as an adult because "We need to send a message to our teenagers", and "If we want to win this Drug War we have to start somewhere."; but later, regarding his decision to send the case to juvenile court after all, he explained that it would be unjust to try Billingsly as an adult when many teens are tried as juveniles for much worse offenses.
Gresback feels that the letters of support from around the country (and some other countries) contributed to the successful resolution of this case, and says "It's very encouraging to know that the hysteria that sweeps the nation [today] doesn't sweep everybody". His chief regret is that it took several months and several thousand dollars in legal fees to get this case to juvenile court where he had asked it go to begin with. Financial assistance for the Billingsly family can be sent to:
Tim Gresback Lawyer Trust
On behalf of Daniel Billingsly
P.O. Box 1560
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816-1560