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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 25, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Criminal sentencing

Juvenile system needs review; sentences are too light

Let’s see if I’ve got this right: Respected county official Scott Noble uses terrible judgment, gets intoxicated, badly injures himself and others in a car wreck, loses his job and with no prior criminal record, gets eight months on work release in the slammer.

Some local teens intentionally attack and brain damage a responding Seattle police officer with apparently permanent, career-destroying injuries and more or less get slapped on their juvenile wrists and released [“Police angry over teens’ sentencing,” NWSaturday, June 20]. For an encore, as reported in The Times, they quickly get arrested for more criminal conduct. What?

Although judges bear a heavy burden of responsibility weighing and deciding what is best for society and the defendant in the present and future, these recent events sharply illustrate a compelling need for legislative review of Washington’s juvenile-justice system and statutes.

— Don Gulliford, Mercer Island

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