Letters to the Editor

Time should fit the crime

I must respond to If you cant do the time, dont do the crime. Well, the incarcerated can do and are doing the time some 2.2 million of them in this country. I contend that the time should fit the crime, per our Bill of Rights, which states that cruel and unusual punishment should not be. Non-violent crimes are depicted as those where no weapons are involved and where no injuries are incurred.
Crime must be punished but it would be far more fair, far more just, if the time coincided with the degree of the crime. The 3-Strikes law, which was intended to take the worst of the worst off the streets has, in fact, swept shoplifters and others guilty of petty drug offenses into a life-time behind bars. They are serving the same sentence (sometimes a lesser sentences) as the serial killers and those guilty of heinous crimes.
The punitive 3-Strikes law takes discretion out of the hands of our judges and does not allow for rehabilitation nor inherent maturity. We are condemning folks to life in prison, no chance of parole, no chance of mitigation, no avenue of reform recognition. Dangerous as well as unjust, 3-Strikes will tend to force violence because, with the risk of spending an entire life in prison, with nothing to lose, some will go to any length not to be arrested. No civilized society should be imposing life sentences on people who have committed relatively minor offenses
Lea Zengage
Lake Stevens

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