Before President Bill Clinton leaves the White House next month, he must do one more thing: Free Toni Frink.
Antoinette Frink, a former car dealer, has served 11 years of a 151/2-year term in a federal prison. Her crime? She sold cars to people who turned out to be drug dealers.
All sensible people want to use the full force of the law to stamp out the illegal drug traffic that gnaws at society. But Frink has been denied justice. She was convicted and given a mandatory sentence as part of the hysteria that surrounded the war on drugs in the late 1980s.
Ironically, the drug dealers to whom she sold the vehicles were so horrible and dangerous that they were released almost immediately when they rolled over on higher-ups in the drug chain. Frink wasn't part of the chain so there was no one she could finger.
Frink has been a model prisoner. She has been a hospice volunteer and a member of the suicide watch and has taught other inmates to read. She helped get the American Red Cross to certify inmates at the prison as HIV/AIDS instructors and trained dozens of inmates to be instructors.
Frink also has suffered personal tragedy as a direct result of her extended imprisonment. Her only child, a daughter, was killed in a freak traffic accident on her way home from visiting Frink in prison.
Now Frink has applied for clemency, asking President Clinton to commute her sentence, as he has done recently for others.
Mr. President, Toni Frink has more than paid any debt to society. Her continuing imprisonment is a travesty of justice. To have ignored her plight for eight years is a blight on your administration, but there is still time to do the right thing.
Free Toni Frink. Now.