Letters to the Editor

Dempsey letter: Removing minimum sentencing

Ilana Rubel submitted a well-crafted bill to the legislators which removes minimum sentencing laws. Minimum sentencing is more aptly state’s vengeance rather than rehabilitation.

Removing mandatory minimum sentencing allows the court to apply sentences in line with the gravity of the crime. These laws insult the competency of judges and remove any component of mercy from the accused, their families, and the community. Note that there is no victim to be considered here.

In terms of how this addresses rehabilitation, removing someone from the prison environment shields them from higher-level criminal training, thus eliminating the need for “rehabilitation.” As an aside, it’s flawed logic to think that putting non-violent people in prison and stigmatizing them for life would “rehabilitate.”

Incarcerating people for non-violent drug offenses has no validity whatsoever as a deterrent. Further, it creates a society of felons whose only life skills are those gained in prison.

These laws are expensive, ineffective, and make all of us less safe. Please take the money spent on useless incarceration and build roads, bridges, playgrounds, schools, and libraries. Unless vengeance is the goal.

Michael Dempsey, Boise

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