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posted: 3/18/2014 5:01 AM

Uniform sentencing would be fairer

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There seems to be no consistency in the federal, state or even local courts to the sentences that judges impose on criminals. A first-degree murder conviction may carry a life sentence in one state, the death sentence in another and only 15 years somewhere else.

I know the states are always fighting the federal government for the right to self-govern, but it seems there should be some federal guidelines for sentences that states and local courts are allowed to impose. In the March 8 Daily Herald, on Page 9, there are two separate articles about individuals in Prospect Heights and Palatine who each pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a police officer. One had bitten the officer's hand and tried to grab his gun (which could have ended tragically) and was sentenced to 30 months of probation and 45 days in jail. The other had "head butted" an officer during a domestic dispute and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Does this make sense to anyone? Maybe an expensive defense lawyer makes the difference? It shouldn't. Why not level the playing field by requiring uniform sentencing for an offense.

Alan Devereaux


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