Your editorial regarding the ongoing General Assembly session ("General Assembly 2019: What needs to happen this year and what can wait,” Jan. 9) was a valiant attempt to make some prioritization of several important state issues. Unfortunately, your position on crime was not entirely cogent.
I want your readers to consider two major points. First, crime, including violent crime, would be significantly reduced by the elimination of the war on drugs, allowing law enforcement to refocus its efforts on crimes that directly affect the general population, activities such as robbery, theft, assault, and other crimes against people and property. Second, increasing mandatory sentences has proven to have only one effect — keeping more people in jail or prison where they learn to be more effective criminals and not be better contributors to their communities.
Why have judges if the legislature is going to mandate sentences? We all (including your editorial writers) need to become more comprehensive thinkers and try to understand the unintended consequences of legislative decisions.
David Griggs, Columbia
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