I’m not particularly surprised to hear that Felicia Pearson has plead guilty to heroin distribution: as her lawyer put it, “I can’t say she would have been found not guilty.” And it sounds like her plea deal, which lets her avoid a seven-year sentence as long as she doesn’t violate her three-year probation, was reasonable.
David Simon is a wonderful artist, and he’s created genuinely revealing work that has, in some small way, managed to move the conversation about the war on drugs. But the changes he wants to see happen in the real world are necessarily going to come about much more slowly, no matter how much he tells Attorney General Eric Holder that if the Justice Department ends the drug war, he’ll make another season of The Wire. And at the end of the day, as much as The Wire may have gained some real verisimilitude by adding people like Pearson to the cast, that didn’t mean that Pearson, much less the experienced actors involved with the show, were going to find steady work after it. Acting is not necessarily a stable alternative profession that will get someone away from the drug trade.