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‘What am I missing?’

Is it just me, or do some of the sentences being handed out at the Bureau County Courthouse seem a little much? I’ve started clipping articles from the Bureau County Republican that seem to reflect particularly harsh sentences for what appear to be relatively minor offenses. I’m being cautious in my wording, since all I know about these cases is what is printed in short articles. However, a 3.5 and 2.5 years in prison for (respectively) stealing two and one bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade in two separate cases, and eight years for stealing $100 in cash in another?

What am I missing? Of course no one wants to condone theft of any kind, but does this really make sense?

I looked up the cost of incarcerating these men for the periods of their sentences. I found it costs taxpayers approximately $30,000 a year to keep them in prison. So we are collectively paying $420,000 to punish these criminals for their actions that have cost three unfortunate citizens a collective $100. And after years in prison, what good will these convicts be to society as a whole? I suspect they’ll be doing much worse things when they get out than shoplifting a bottle of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Perhaps there is a better way to handle the punishment in these cases. I’m just asking.

Robert C. Sash