Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: criminal justice

Oct.
25th

ELECTION: TV ads ignore due process

I see ads on TV criticizing attorney general candidate Bob Ferguson for defending “cop killers.” I always thought that one of the hallmarks of the American justice system was that everyone was entitled to a rigorous defense and that the state had to prove the charges.

Everyone is entitled, not just the innocent or the wealthy or white men. Everyone, even those who have committed heinous crimes.

Defending those who have committed crimes – and remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty – is an obligation. Defending someone accused of a heinous crime is not defending the crime, it is

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Nov.
29th

JOBS: When does ex-cons’ punishment end?

It is generally perceived that the hardest part of being convicted of a felony crime is the time you have to spend in prison. While it is true that being away from your friends and family is certainly difficult, the true pressure occurs when you are released back into society.

It seems like wherever you go, you’re marked. People who don’t even know you judge you on the past, never looking at the person you are but at the things you have done.

While I agree there are certain crimes that are so heinous that they should not be discounted,

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Nov.
7th

CRIME: Where’s justice in two sentences?

I read two separate articles on the same page of The News Tribune Saturday regarding the sentencing of people found guilty of their crimes.

The first was about an office manager who embezzled $1 million from Tacoma Orthopedic Surgeons and received a seven-year prison sentence. The other is about a drunk driver who crossed the center line of the highway, hitting another vehicle head-on and killing a Milton man. The drunk driver received three years and 11 months in prison.

What does it say about our society that we value money more than life? Who experienced the greater

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Sep.
22nd

POLICE: Criminal justice system is a joke

A 12-year-old calls police because a drug user with a gun is in his house beating his mom. Two cops are now on trial because they took the gun from the convicted felon and arrested him.

Surprise, surprise: The felon walks fee and the cops are now on trial. I guess that’s why it’s called “criminal justice”; the criminals get all the justice.

What a joke our system is! I have to ask myself why anyone would want to be a cop in our state. The deck is obviously stacked for the criminals.

Feb.
11th

PRISONS: ’3 Strikes’ law needs reform

Good public policy defines a problem and proposes a solution that should solve it, periodically evaluating it and changing it, if needed.

Our “3-Strikes” law has long since reached that point for change. Life sentences are not the solution to our problems. They not only cost the taxpayer over $1 million each but they are a waste of human potential.

Since the majority of those confined under this law are not the most violent criminals for which it was intended, the monies used to incarcerate them should be redirected elsewhere. We need to spend it where it will get the

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Jan.
11th

PRISONS: Criminal justice system is broken

Criminal justice reform is an issue that has been considered off-limits for a very long time. However, there is an urgent need to address the astronomical growth of the prison populations now with its huge costs in tax dollars and in lost human potential. Several states have done so and have shown that large costs can be saved without compromising public safety.

We spent $68 billion on corrections in this country last year. That is an increase of 300 percent over 25 years ago. The prison populations are growing 13 times faster than the general population, This is a

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Dec.
8th

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Being tough on crime creates crime

Do you suppose there’s a profit incentive to the wholesale mass incarceration that’s plagued our nation? Has the criminal justice system become ‘Big Business’?

First, the media dwells on violence and crime, thus increasing their ratings and therefore increasing their profits.

Then elected officials endear themselves to the fear-struck public with a “tough on crime” stance that might very well guarantee their election.

Then many corporations whose financial well-being is dependent on the prison population have their bottom lines bulging as the prison walls bulge.

Many do not realize that being “tough on crime” has actually created crime. Many do

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