|Letter: Increase penalties for violent crimes|
|Written by Administrator|
|Friday, 15 October 2010 11:11|
Regardless of the size of the police force or the number of community members looking out for criminal activity, you can never have the resources in the right place to stop every crime.
The current environment is significantly too lenient. The best way to reduce violent crime is to make the equation of risk versus reward significantly in favour of the public and not the criminal.
First, separate the tools of the trade from the crime. That is, make an armed robbery a series of several crimes, each with their own punishment.
Possession of an unregistered gun in any circumstance is an automatic five years in jail. Use of it in the commission of any crime is an additional 15 years. Firing of the weapon, whether at a person or not, an additional 10 years.
So if you use an unregistered weapon in a robbery and shoot a warning shot, you have a 30-year sentence on your hands. Plus, you will get some number of years for the commission of the robbery itself. All penalties must be served consecutively, not concurrently.
A 20-year, no-parole, no-reduction sentence for simply using a gun in the commission of any crime ought to deter most people.
Armed robbery — using a gun, knife or any offensive weapon — should carry a mandatory sentence of 15 years. Wounding a victim, another 20 years.
Supplying a person with a gun should attract a minimum sentence of 15 years. Fencing or otherwise helping a person convert the proceeds of crime to cash or other reward should be a mandatory 10-year sentence.
Harbouring or otherwise assisting a criminal avoid detection or arrest should attract a five-year sentence.
If you are arrested for any crime where a person was injured, threatened, wounded or terrorized, or any offensive weapon was used, you should be tried by judge only.
If you have a criminal record for a similar crime for which you are arrested, bail should be denied and trial set for no more than 45 days from the arrest date.
Penalties must be stiff, sure and applied very quickly. Our prosecutors must be staffed so that they can dispose of these cases very quickly and our courts must have the appropriate staffing to clear the cases quickly. Once the word is out that TCI is extremely hard on violent crime and very hard on any crimes against individuals and property, the criminals amongst us will soon move on to easier pastures.
None of these suggestions should infer that we should not also reinforce our police force with more and better trained individuals, offer significant rewards for turning in people that you know have committed a crime and using technology to assist in our crime fighting efforts. One hundred strategically placed CCTV cameras around Provo all fed to a central monitoring station would greatly assist in the tracking of escaping criminals.
We only have a handful of banks, 10 roundabouts, 40 high net worth businesses, and fewer than 20 communities in Provo where there is a higher probability of finding a fugitive.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 October 2010 11:17|
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