Pubdate: Wed, 16 Sep 2015
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2015 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Paul Kilduff


Rod Rosenstein's op-ed piece, "A proven plan to prevent city murders" 
(Sept. 13), starts with the notion that it is the Police Department's 
job to prevent crime. To the contrary, I believe it is the Police 
Department's job to promptly respond to crime, investigate crime and 
deliver the guilty person to justice. The primary job of a prosecutor 
is to be a minister of justice - this is a widely accepted but 
often-ignored requirement, and it is ignored in Mr. Rosenstein's essay.

Mr. Rosenstein falls back on the tired, disproven idea that long 
prison sentences make us safer, citing murder statistics. Judging 
police work by statistics has been disastrous for the people of this city.

Simply put, if we want to prevent murders in Baltimore, we need to 
end the failed war on drugs. Then let's give high achievers in poor 
neighborhoods a chance at a decent education - a decent life - 
without having to get involved in the illegal drug trade. Can we 
afford to do that? Well, apparently we can afford to keep potential 
breadwinners locked away at a cost of $30,000 a year - more of them, 
if Mr. Rosenstein gets his way. Let's make our poor neighborhoods 
livable and give our poor residents a chance at real success. 
Dramatically reduce violent crime in Baltimore by ending the failed 
war on drugs. Spend police resources investigating robbery, burglary, and rape.

Mr. Rosenstein argues that "[l]ong prison sentences incapacitate 
repeat offenders and deter others from following in their footsteps." 
Here is the flaw in his argument: they are replaced the very next 
day, because the money is too good to resist thanks to black-market 
pricing. Will Mr. Rosenstein next put forth a plan that involves 
emptying the ocean with a bucket?

Paul Kilduff, Baltimore
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