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Letter: Better law enforcement will deter crime

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Recently I advocated for significant punishment for those using firearms in criminal offenses. Now further comments on penalties.

Many candidates were heard to advocate for increased penalties for offenses. My thought is that these are not effective and perhaps counterproductive. My experience is that most offenders are not concerned about how long they will serve if caught, but rather will they be caught. Increased terms increased the cost of imprisonment, which decreases funds available for police.

Also, Minnesota sentencing guidelines control sentencing, not terms of imprisonment, not to mention judges' authority. So, longer terms look good on campaign literature but are not effective as deterrence.

So what could help — more cops, and higher pay and assuring police that we do respect the job they do. Media coverage of good police work instead of just silence after initial reports.

Additional prosecutors, correction workers, public defenders and judges to speed disposition of cases.

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And yes, perhaps it is time for prosecutors to be held accountable for plea bargains.

Ray Schmitz, Rochester

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