Judge goes too easy on 'accidental' criminal

July 20, 2011

I read the article on carjacker and killer Arthur Felton with growing dismay and anger ("Convicted child killer gets 12 years in carjacking," July 19). This is a man who "accidentally" shot and killed a 6-year-old girl but he got off with only 14 years in prison because he was aiming at somebody else. I'm sure this is a big comfort to the grieving family. Now he commits a carjacking, but it was OK because he wasn't planning on it — just trying to get away after stealing from a store in a crowded mall. I'm sure that victim will understand such a good excuse.

I do understand the state's attorney accepting a plea deal, but there is absolutely no excuse for the judge. Instead of giving him the full 30-year sentence, Judge Paul Hackner gave him 12 years in prison with a mere five years of probation. I doubt he will even complete 10 years. Then he will be free at a still-young age and could return to a life of crime.

People get upset over the high-profile killings like Caylee Anthony, but they should be more upset about the Arthur Feltons of this world. They just kill people randomly, which is fine with an Anne Arundel County judge.

Kate Condon, Catonsville

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