Violent crimes should provoke punishment


September 09, 1992

From: Patrick McGuire

Ellicott City

In this world of ever-increasing crime, I find it appalling that more and more violent crimes seem to go unpunished. You hear about it daily on TV, radio and in the newspaper. For example, some person will shoot someone and all you hear is how he was out on bond for some other hideous offense that occurred two weeks ago, etc. I used to think it was just in the big cities because of overcrowded prisons but now I see it right here in Howard County. The place where I and many of my neighbors assumed that crimes don't go unpunished.

Last January, I was visiting a neighbor on a Saturday night. A good show was on cable and I ended up staying rather late. About an hour after I walked through the front door to go home, a pipe bomb went off and blew the porch right off the house. I missed having a fatherless 5-year-old and a husbandless wonderful wife by one hour. That same night, other bombings occurred including someone's car. They were all done by the same person.

After months of waiting to hear the outcome, the Sun's article on Aug. 30 says the bomber got 90 days in jail or 180 of home detention. And that, according to the article, was only because Judge Dennis Sweeney was "concerned because 10 days before the offense, the bomber had received probation on an unrelated charge."

That tells me that had the bomber not been on probation, he would not do any time in jail for what could have very possibly been murder. This is an outrage!

That sends out a big, fat message to criminals of Howard County. Hello, criminals! If you're not on probation, go bomb a house if you want to and don't worry about the consequences. You don't need a very good reason either. The bomber was quoted as saying he did it because "His friend didn't like a boy who lived there."

I shudder to think of what this country is coming to when bombers get slapped on the hand so lightly.

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