Our absurd system of justice needs to be changed so that relatively harmless criminals don't get lengthy prison terms. The case of Richard M. Loots was a good example of someone facing a third strike but not deserving 25 plus years in prison (“Struck out?” Oct. 11).
Multiple misdemeanors should not equal felonies. One year in jail is supposed to be the maximum for a misdemeanor. Repeat misdemeanor criminals are often addicts who need their addictions addressed rather than getting locked up with the key thrown away.
Another problem with Three Strikes is that many of the so-called felonies are victimless, such as being in possession of something illegal or getting busted for multiple acts of consensual adult prostitution. Also, our legal system often fabricates multiple charges when there is really only one charge at issue.
Laws protect and punish, but they also need to be fair and reasonable. The real issue is making sure that those truly deserving of long prison sentences—such as child rapists, mutilators, etc.—get harsh sentences in the first place so that Three Strikes wouldn't even be an issue.
-- Edmund Geswein - Lompoc