April 9, 2010 in Letters

Sentencing scheme unjust

The Spokesman-Review
 

There is an issue that is costing the taxpayers millions of dollars and is really nothing to be proud of.

Today, prosecutors are able to hold the “three-strikes” law as a tool to convince people to plea bargain so as not to be sent to prison for life. Who wouldn’t plead guilty and accept any offer if it meant avoiding a life sentence?

However, 10, 12 years ago, there were no “deals.” If you had that third conviction – no matter how minor – you were a “poster boy” for the new “tough-on-crime” regime. Consequently, we have many nonviolent people locked up for their entire lives while others with more egregious offenses have release dates.

All felonies are not the same; all felons are not the same. A mandatory sentence of life no matter the circumstances is costly and unjust. Our legislators have not acted to reform these laws for fear of being considered “soft on crime,” even though many recognize them as being unfair and unjust.

Shirley White

Spokane


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