Reducing prison population
I was proud to learn that state Sen. John Whitmire and former Rep. Jerry Madden took the initiative in 2007 to address the explosive growth in the Texas prison population — certainly a great first step.
However, I was surprised that the population has been reduced only from a maximum of 173,000 to 168,000, a 3 percent reduction!
Hopefully the great programs of treatment will result in much greater reductions and savings in the future.
It was stated that the total savings to date was $3 billion.
However, the failure to change the mandatory sentencing laws and the draconian sentences is the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed immediately.
Think what the savings would be if the prison population were reduced to 68,000 — reasonable when historical data is reviewed.
Then we could adequately fund the educational system without raising taxes and possibly further reduce the prison population.
— John Nolan, Arlington
Thank you for Sunday’s editorial pointing out the injustice that would attend the execution of Scott Panetti, who despite having suffered from schizophrenia through 14 years and 15 hospitalizations, was allowed to represent himself at his farce of a trial.
Regardless of the outcome of your editorial, simply publishing it reflects well.
As Charles James Fox wrote of his fight in parliament against the slave trade: “… it is a cause in which one cannot help being pleased with oneself for having done right.”
On behalf of all those whose lives are grievously affected by mental illness, thank you.
— Guelma B. Hopkins,
Media is the problem
The news media should be ashamed for what is happening in Ferguson, Mo.
Their false speculations about the DA not assisting the grand jury and not presenting possible indictments which were in fact no-billed helped inflame public opinion. The media’s reporting has been and continues to be a stoking of the fires of riot and racism.
The days of news reporting are over. CNN could not report the destruction, arson, looting and gunfire without placing blame on the governor, the National Guard, the DA, or anyone else not responsible for doing it.
Police preparations for the grand jury action were media-judged as too much, too soon, or not enough and too late.
— Ron Eddins, Trophy Club
On Ferguson riots
It is obvious that the majority of African-Americans do not subscribe to the actions of a destructive few in Ferguson, Mo.
They are, in fact, law-abiding citizens who love God, their communities and country.
Amidst destroyed businesses, burning vehicles and buildings, lootings and lawless behavior, the president, news media and radical activists seemed to suggest that the actions were justifiable.
In so doing, they indicted the general public for this behavior, not the few perpetrators of hate.
Most Americans of every race can trace their family histories to either country of origin or circumstances related to gaining citizenship in America.
These include exclusion, oppression, discrimination and persecution.
It is frightening to think what it would be like if every citizen retained an active list of grievances that would find expression in the behaviors in Ferguson.
Americans are not perfect, but America is still the land of the free and the greatest nation on earth.
It will always be a work in progress.
Perhaps a true spirit of gratitude and acts of human kindness are appropriate at this special season of the year.
— Don Ramsey, Fort Worth
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