Letters: Too many repeat offenders, with dire consequences

25February 2021

Recent news stories about the conclusion of some criminal cases have me wondering what happened to holding people accountable for their actions. I grow weary and desensitized to people being set free after being convicted or pleading guilty to a serious crime with no sanctions. We hear or read about it every day. One of the people responsible for the burning of the Fourth Precinct last summer is given probation. A man known to law enforcement with prior felony convictions goes in and kills a woman and shoots several others. A drunk driver kills an innocent driver and it is found that he has multiple prior convictions for drunk driving. We hear that over 40 people were arrested in a massive carjacking investigation and the number of carjackings continues to rise.

Who is to blame? Not the cops, the perpetrators have been arrested and convicted so the police are putting them into the system. The county attorney who says there isn’t sufficient evidence to charge a man with anything while there is video of him threatening a family in Hugo and terrorizing a neighborhood yet he goes on to be elected to the state Legislature, is part of the problem. The county attorney who allows probation for violent destruction of public property causing over a million dollars in damage. Those not pushing to have people sentenced to actual time in jail are all responsible.

The diversion programs and probation are not working. It is time for “woke” people to wake up and start holding their elected officials responsible for the situation and ask why this is happening. Ideally we would see the press asking why more as well. They get the who, what, when and where. We need to know why these people are getting back out without anything more than an official “we are watching you.”

Rick Anderson, Forest Lake


Much to be desired

Joe Soucheray, you hit it right on the head (“Twists, turns, clicks and long lines for a shot at a shot,” Feb. 21). I doubt the Minnesota government could find their tail with both hands if they were sitting on their thumbs.

However, the V.A. has been excellent. Got both my shots. They sent a letter with the number to call.

Do you think I can get my wife in anyplace to get a shot? She is 89 and has serious health issues. Random drawing with all residents 65-plus.

Our state leaves much to be desired. Her sisters in Ohio got their shots a month ago.

D.W. Brady, St. Paul


Dropped charges

So here’s the problem when you trust mainstream media to give you the whole story, you don’t get the whole story. Example? The story about Gregory Ulrich, the alleged Allina shooter/bomber. Until he’s prosecuted, I’ll say “alleged.” Charges against him were dropped previously, by the prosecutor, because of mental competency issues. Had he been taken in front of a judge, he could have been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent, thereby losing his Second Amendment rights. Simple thing really, but all too often, we see prosecutors and/or judges make decisions like this one, letting people off the hook because of competency issues or the alleged perpetrator is “a good person who just had a bad day,” which was recently used as a defense, and honored by a judge (not here, not yet).

While the prosecutor has the option to drop the charges, by doing so, a mentally incompetent person doesn’t get adjudicated mentally incompetent (the mentally incompetent deserve their day in court like anybody else) and thusly doesn’t lose their Second Amendment right. The chief of police who issued the permit to purchase doesn’t have any option but to issue a permit since the prosecutor either didn’t seem to understand how things work, wanted to save time and money, or was just feeling like he or she was doing a good deed.

Remember, no good deed goes unpunished, but so many times, those who get punished aren’t the ones doing the “good deed.”

Michael Lowe, West Saint Paul


‘Armed insurrection’

Some politicians never cease to amaze me, Take, for example, Wisconsin’s Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who was quoted in the Feb. 16 edition of the Pioneer Press, referring to the Jan. 6 armed insurrection at the Capitol: “It was not an armed insurrection. When you hear the word ‘armed,’ don’t you think of firearms? Here’s the question I would have liked to ask – how many firearms were confiscated? How many shots were fired? I’m only aware of one, and I’ll defend that law enforcement officer for taking that shot. It was a tragedy, but I think there was only one.”

Law enforcement officials have said in court filings that guns, bombs and further weapons were found in the vehicles of the “armed” insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol and went rioting throughout, using flag poles, stolen police shields, crutches, fire extinguishers, bats, sticks and other objects as weapons to attack police officers and destroy property as they forced their entry into the Capitol.

To me, the “not” part of Johnson’s take on armed insurrection observation, i.e., that to him, it was not an armed insurrection, seems to really be another pothole for anything reported or defined by a Democrat. He needs to review his job description, the oath he took when elected and then, just try to do his job to the best of his competence for his constituents. Glad I live in Minnesota.

J. Lemke, Shoreview


Lack of compassion

With the passing of Rush Limbaugh last week, there has been an extreme variety of responses as his life work is relived. I am surprised at the number of “Christians” who have supported this man during his lifetime.

The God that I worship has taught us that our first and most important commandment is to love one another. I believe that means to love everyone, not just the privileged white males in our society. Leaders like Mr. Limbaugh and our former president and their vile remarks show extreme disrespect for those of color, women and most all other minorities. And those who follow blindly along such as Sens. Cruz and Hawley, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and others, should also know better, especially those who claim their strong belief in whatever their Christianity tells them. Their lack of compassion for those who are disenfranchised certainly doesn’t fit my vision of who Christians are.  At least not the kind of Christian that I try to be.

Those who submit comments stating that Rush Limbaugh was a “talent on loan from God” are serving to deify individuals that I (and hopefully the majority of our society) cannot support.

Mark Nelson, St. Croix Falls

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