Readers write: Election results, justice as model
Letters to the editor for the Nov. 28, 2016 weekly magazine.
Why did voters rebel and reject both the Democratic establishment candidate and all of the Republican establishment candidates? Because neither group of existing representatives has addressed the most pressing concerns of the majority in the United States: the people who are still suffering from the recession, who have seen their wages and standard of living stagnate or drop, their infrastructure suffer, and extreme polarization take hold.
President-elect Donald Trump won with a coalition of supporters and protest voters who simply want a wholesale change from business as usual. People want a functional government. One executive leader may not be able to accomplish that goal, but leaders throughout the US could unite around this goal and accomplish a turnaround for our beloved country if they will recognize that honest, fair, inclusive (rather than divisive) governing is what the majority of Americans want.
Justice as model
As a Montanan, I found the Oct. 22 online article “Should Montana justice be impeached for sentencing on incest case?” (CSMonitor.com) interesting. Judge John McKeon’s decision to impose a sentence of only 60 days to a man who raped his daughter is troubling, but I don’t have enough information to judge. The offender, the judge, and the situation are all unique and deserve due consideration.
I do know that tying a judge’s hands is not the answer. Mandatory minimum sentencing is a major reason that more than 2 million people are behind bars. Those who break the law need to be confined, but the future is more important than the past. Justice should model the kind of behavior we want to see in our population, and mass incarceration doesn’t do that. The Sentencing Reform Act and the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act take important steps toward a more humane and moral system. There is still time to pass these bipartisan bills this year. Let’s try.