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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for May 27, 2022

UPDATED: Fri., May 27, 2022

Sentencing Reform Act

Joanne Smieja incorrectly characterized the 1980s sentencing laws (“Let’s end lifetime supervision,” May 17). They weren’t written “using the assumption people are incapable of change.” They had two primary purposes – to bring equity to sentences for felony crimes, and to reduce the prison population through a system that reduced prison sentences. To do this, the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981 took sentencing discretion away from judges and replaced it with guidelines based on the crime committed and an offender score based on previous convictions. The result was lighter prison sentences, with many criminals not being sentenced to state prison until they accumulated multiple felony convictions.

Since that time, the Legislature and voters have increased the sentences for some crimes, including sex crimes.

In the case of a man convicted of molesting four young girls, Smieja thinks lifetime supervision is excessive. We should keep in mind that the primary goal of the criminal justice system is to protect society from those who commit crimes. A secondary, and important, goal is to reduce recidivism. After decades of experimenting with ways to reduce reoffending, the three-year recidivism rate nationwide is 67%. Probation, what Smieja calls “monitoring,” comes with conditions and helps confirm that offenders willing to change receive, and use, reentry services to reach that goal, and provides incentive not to reoffend. If they do reoffend, probation makes it easier to locate and incarcerate them if needed. I think, in this case, lifetime sex offender registration and probation is appropriate.

Chan Bailey


Supreme Court

Re: The Supreme Court’s latest “adventure.” It is time the courts and churches took their hands out of a woman’s underpants and kept them out.

Thank you.

Peggy Speelmon


Ball of delusion

President Biden is obviously incompetent, but those in his administration who are actually running the government aren’t. They are extremely competent at executing their plan. It’s called the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and is characterized by the catch phrase, “collapse the system.”

They were two Columbia University sociology professors who first proposed it in 1966. Its main method uses crises (“Never let a good crisis go to waste”) to overload governmental systems with impossible demands through militant mob actions, including ruinous riots to make as many people as possible dependent on government welfare programs. Their ultimate goal is to collapse the government and “reimagine” it as another socialist workers’ paradise.

Their plan included subverting the Democratic Party to their pernicious purposes. After decades of insidious insinuation into our social institutions, their “progressive” disciples have succeeded in controlling its agenda. Look at many major Democrat-controlled cities across the nation being destroyed today. Look at the millions of illegal aliens invading our Southern border. They are “collapsing the system.” It’s by deliberate design, not incompetence.

The noted conservative commentator, scholar and author Mark Levin wrote more about it in Chapter Two, “Breeding Mobs,” of his recent book, “American Marxism.” An internet search of “collapse the system,” including “Cloward Piven,” reveals many sources. An excellent one is “discoverthenetworks clowardpiven-strategy.”

When progressives say they want to “fundamentally transform America,” they really mean “fundamentally transmogrify America” for the rest of us. Quo vadis, America?

Bob Strong


You missed the mark

Jim Camden misses the mark in his May 15 Spin Control column in last Sunday’s paper (“Support it or not, protesting at judge’s home not a new tactic”).

He equates the current marches on Supreme Court justices’ homes to a 1985 march on a local judge’s house. In the latter, protesters were expressing displeasure with one of this judge’s recent decisions. In contrast, the Supreme Court has not released an official decision; the protestors are acting on leaked information. Why? To exert pressure in an attempt to influence the outcome of the decision; to directly interfere in the workings of one of our branches of government. Additionally, they are breaking federal law. The distinction is huge.

Rebecca Davis


Silent majority of decency

Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem began, “When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” The Buffalo shooting feels like we are sinking deeper into darkness. There is a trend to avoid discussing anything political in polite company and instead air our grievances behind a façade of digital detachment.

It’s time for the silent majority of decent, kind, rational citizens from both political parties to speak up. Having recently learned that the number 14 has a sinister significance, I was troubled to see it sprayed graffiti on my regular running route along the Centennial Trail. Hate walks amongst us. “For there is always light, if we are brave enough to see it, brave enough to be it.” Shine on.

Lori Buratto

Spokane Valley


Cheers to Sara Ferris for her heartfelt tribute (“Honoring Candy Rogers,” May 19). Brought a tear to my eye.

Paul Cozart


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