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Letter to the editor: Society has changed; judges need to as well

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 12:01 am

I am glad to be able to vote for a different judge who I will be comfortable having in office. In this case, I am looking for a judge who is willing to rule with the people and inmates in mind.

In the Dec. 26, 2012, editorial section of The News-Sentinel, the article stated that the state’s criminal code has not had a comprehensive overhaul since 1977.

Times have changed, and we do need a comprehensive overhaul. Criminal justice experts need to get with the prosecutors and cut the prison population by using community services and other alternative sentencing to make prisons less crowded and save us taxpayer money.

They need to cut unnecessary programs like the Somm’s class, which is a therapy class that all sex offenders must take whether they are guilty or not. If they do not take this course they will suffer consequences.

I have news for you. If a person commits a crime, he or she does not care about therapy at that time. They go ahead and commit the crime; therapy does not stop them. Who pays for these classes? You and I do, the taxpayers.

I believe in giving an inmate a second chance when they are released from prison. They should be able to get a job without being looked down upon and not be punished anymore by having to pay for ankle bracelets, probation fees, classes. That they are released from prison in itself tells you they served their time and are released into society to go on leading their own lives. The ankle bracelets, probation fees and classes are benefiting the state and county. We already pay enough.

And also, I remember reading an article about a mother who was accused of ignoring the physical and mental abuse her boyfriend inflicted on her four young children was sentenced to eight years for each count, but Judge Surbeck suspended that sentence and gave her five years probation.

My question is: Do you not think that the mother was just as guilty as her boyfriend in that case, knowing that her children were being abused? Should the judge have let the mother get off with five years probation? Who was thinking of the children’s wellbeing and the environment they had to endure.

Well, this was in the October issue of The News-Sentinel, and I have a copy as I was appalled. I want a judge who is looking out for a person’s wellbeing. That was a terrible crime.

Also, it does not make sense incarcerating someone and then coming up with a plan to ease the incarcerated person back into society and taking a pat on the back for that. No, sir, I want a judge who is new and willing to go forward with new ideas on helping the people and the inmates without cosigning money to them.

The judges have had their time in office, and we need new judges. We vote for different presidents, senators, representatives; now’s the time to move forward and have “justice for all people” and not just a few. These judges need to step down and let another judge take their place as society has changed, and they need to do the same.

Joan Busche

Grabill