- Man shot by police ID'd; witness shares his side of story (2/17/17)31
- Settlement reached in accidental shooting case at Kelly High (2/15/17)10
- MSHP: McLendon shot in side; autopsy refutes witness account (2/19/17)23
- Jackson board votes to demolish high school building if bond issue passes (2/15/17)24
- Cape officer shoots man inside a home (2/16/17)7
- Business notebook: Owners ready to roll out the Barrel 131 (2/20/17)3
- Apparent punch at girls basketball game propels lawmaker into action (2/21/17)4
- Former Cape cop indicted on possessing child porn (2/17/17)
- Man dies after being shot by officer; said to have come at cop with knife (2/16/17)29
- Ray's of Kelso to close, then reopen under new ownership (2/16/17)6
Harsher laws won't make us safer
To the editor:
I am highly disappointed in the bills put forth by state Sen. John Loudon which would increase criminal penalties for certain offenders and by state Rep. Gary Dusenberg which would tag sex offenders with a special driver's license.
As a criminology and criminal justice graduate student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, I can state with a fair amount of certainty that neither bill will make people safer in Missouri. In fact, empirical studies are fairly conclusive that harsher punishments do not reduce crimes and that stigmatizing certain offenders makes them more -- not less -- likely to offend.
If lawmakers really want to make a dent, they should adequately research the laws they propose and then adequately fund the laws they currently have so they work like they're supposed to and not just blindly pass Draconian laws which may feel good but do nothing to prevent crime.
BRIAN E. OLIVER, St. Louis