- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)49
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/02/16)
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- Hopper Road to close for months during construction of Veterans Drive (04/27/16)9
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