Understanding gun violence sentencing numbers

Gov. Larry Hogan wants to know why more than 60 percent of gun offenders in Baltimore have more than half their sentences suspended (“Hogan calls for meeting with judges, prosecutors over jailing more violent offenders,” Aug. 11). Perhaps he should spend a little time thinking about the other available data.

According to The Sun, more than 100 of 605 convicted gun offenders in the past 18 months were arrested more than once. To put that another way, some 80 percent or more were only arrested once. I think it is entirely appropriate that a one-time offender should have at least half his sentence suspended. I would actually like to know why this only happens to about 60 percent of gun offenders instead of the whole 80 percent who are first-time offenders.

Let the full weight of the law be brought to bear on repeat offenders and leniency be shown to those who only erred once through ignorance or bad judgment. To do otherwise is to apply an unjust stereotype to everyone who holds a gun in violation of some part of the law, and injustice never breeds respect for law or authority.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

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