Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mixed Messages

Time to drag out my soapbox again. I guess I need to find a better spot to put it to be heard a little louder or so the right people hear me. I was reading the paper today and was glad to see that a man received 20 years for repeated DWIs. It states that this was his eighth offense. Part of me becomes angry that it has taken 8 to get to this point, but none the less, he is finally being placed behind bars where he should be. Obviously this man is unable to make the changes in his life to correct his problems on his own. Hopefully prison will open his eyes and he will face the problem in there. However, as I read the next paragraph, I wondered what happened. The next man was charged with a DWI as a persistent offender (meaning this was not his first offense and probably not his second, it usually takes at least 3 to be labeled this) and driving without a license. This man just received shock time in the county jail and probation. I just had to sit back and think what is the difference. And it seems too familiar to Ryan Sundermann. Does this driver have to take a life before anything is done? Or do we wait until he also gets to number 8 before forcing him to get help in prison? Obviously shock time and probation does not affect some people. Some people need more help than that. Some people do not think their drinking is a problem and are not phased by these tactics in the least. Something more needs to be done. I'm not saying send all offenders to prison, because obviously Sundermann has yet to address his problems in there, but if probation is not working, do something else. Quit giving 3,4,and 5 chances before something is done. Don't wait until a life is so senselessly taken before recognizing the offender has a problem that he is unable to address on his own. The only life that deserves the punishment is the offender, not the innocent. Here is the link to the article

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