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In Gladden case, the court handed out vengeance, not justice

9:30 AM EST, February 24, 2013

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Regarding your report on the guilty plea of alleged school shooter Robert Gladden Jr., I am a firm believer that before judges and prosecutors send a defendant to jail, they should spend some time incarcerated themselves to experience the conditions a prisoner faces ("Gladden pleads guilty in shooting," Feb. 20).

Mr. Gladden, a minor, made his plea in adult court. This is a travesty of justice for a 15-year-old who was never given a break in life. After following his case, it appears to me that he is a troubled teen who desperately needs help. His brain is still developing, yet he could be sentenced to 40 years in prison. What chance does he have?

After his tragic shooting of fellow student Daniel Borowy, I hoped there was a chance for restorative justice. And I hoped Mr. Gladden would be given long-term psychiatric treatment. But instead a vindictive judge and prosecutor sought vengeance.

I am well aware of the injustice in the justice system. This is a clear example of it. I would like to think Judge Robert E. Cahill, Jr. will be less vindictive at sentencing. But then how could he allow a child to be tried in adult court in the first place?

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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