Regarding the case of the father who abandoned his 2-year-old son on Houston Mesa Road — I want to thank you for your editorial questioning the logic of sentencing this man to prison for 3.5 years for his mistake. Clearly this is another case of a cynical, rabid district attorney riding the wave of public outrage, probably toward a goal of promotion or re-election.
As a correctional educator working within a level 3 men’s prison, I see the results of this neo-Hobbsian approach to law and order often.
Yes, our prisons are full of people who have committed crimes, but more often than not, the sentences far outweigh the crimes that have been committed.
To threaten this man with a 17-year prison term is just another example of the recurring illogic of sentencing threats that come from the offices of district attorneys everywhere, and the fact that this man will serve 3.5 years for his mistake makes no sense.
This case is a clear example, among many examples, that something has gone fundamentally wrong within our justice system. Today, many Americans no longer give lip service to enlightened ideals of justice; they aspire only to punish.
There is no doubt that, in this case, intensive probation along with therapy, parenting classes, etc. would have been the appropriate choice. Instead, the entire family is punished and will suffer, and taxpayers will pay for his incarceration and possibly for public assistance for his family as well.
Nowhere are reason, justice and pity more lacking than within the offices of district attorneys. It is time that the public wakes up and realizes that our justice system has gone haywire, our prisons are over-bloated as a result, and every citizen pays the price for a punitive system that does not promote justice.
In the immortal words of Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”