Why do we coddle our criminals?

From today’s news:

Authorities in Botetourt County have locked up their fourth suspect in a home invasion in which four masked men bound an elderly couple and stole a safe containing between $40,000 and $50,000.

Warren Edward Lemons, 38, was arrested Monday in Roanoke, according to documents at the city’s magistrate’s office. He was charged with two counts each of abduction to extort money, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and robbery at a residence.

Here’s the interesting part:

Lemons was convicted in 1989 of fatally shooting a man who had called him a racial epithet outside a Roanoke nightclub. Lemons, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was sentenced to 24 years in prison and was eligible for parole after seven and a half years.

See that? He was eligible for parole after serving only a third of his sentence. They don’t say it specifically, but I’d guess that seven and a half years was all he served. If he had served the entire sentence for murder, he would still be in jail, rather than committing more crimes.

This is why criminals don’t take our justice system seriously. They know that in most cases they can plead their crimes down to much less serious charges, and that even if they can’t they won’t serve more than a token part of their sentence before they’re released.

Add to that the fact that, while they’re in jail, they get 3 square meals a day, free cable, a free weight club, a library, and education from more experienced criminals, and maybe you can see why they don’t really care if they’re breaking the law?

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1 Comment

  1. Giving felons guns « Curses! Foiled Again!

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