Pubdate: Sat, 22 May 2004
Source: Sun Herald (MS)
Copyright: 2004, The Sun Herald
Author: Theresa Marchese


My Sound Off was printed some time ago expressing my outrage because my 22
year old son, who was convicted as a first-time, non-violent offender,
received a 10-year sentence.

At least once every couple of weeks, I pick up the newspaper to find that
people who have committed manslaughter or murder receive less time than my
son. The last story I recall reading was about a Jackson County woman who
had killed her boyfriend and received eight years. I am disheartened and
angry every time I think about this and see these stories in the newspaper.

I want to make it known that I hold no ill will toward the judge who
sentenced him. He was simply following the laws of the state of Mississippi,
but there is no equity in the law, as evidenced by people who commit violent
crimes and are sentenced to less time. I have always said that my son should
be punished, but why should a non-violent crime receive more time than the
taking of a human life?

My son has served more than three years for his crime, and I have recently
contacted my congressman to help me get my son moved along because he has
served more time than he should. Since his record is incorrect with the
Mississippi Department of Corrections, he cannot be classified, and he
cannot go to the long-term drug and alcohol program to which he was ordered.
Thus far, I have been unable to have this corrected.

I know that the Iraqi prison abuse scandal is horrendous, but what about our
sons and daughters in prisons here? Although the situations are vastly
different, how does a mother sleep at night knowing that her son has been
beaten by the guards assigned to the facility? No one should live with this

As I said, I know that my son should be punished, but I ask you, at what


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