Grinning criminals and revolving door prisons [Letter]

Let me see if I understand this: Marquel Gaffney, 15, murdered Albert Smith, 56, in 2007, was charged as an adult, but pleaded guilty of second-degree murder and was sentenced in juvenile court ("Baltimore man, 21, charged in second murder in five years," Aug. 5).

In 2012, he was convicted of drug crimes and last year he was charged with unauthorized removal of property. In March of this year he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison with all but six months suspended.

Now he is again charged with murder, this time involving the killing of a 19-year-old and the non-fatal shooting of another man."

No wonder he is grinning in his mug shot. The police, the courts and his previous sentences don't mean anything. He will get to see his buddies in jail for a couple of months.

This is our courts and penal system at work. Why doesn't everyone feel safer knowing that this is how they operate?

Dan McDowell

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