- Cape man gets 8 years for robbery, his first offense (12/7/16)5
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)28
- Abuse suspect tries to take cop's gun; officer zaps him with Taser and punches his face (12/7/16)2
- Man sentenced to 103 years for murder of Cape woman (12/6/16)4
- Cape may allow residents to keep chickens; residents at meeting push for measure (12/6/16)33
- Burglary suspect apprehended inside Jackson garage (12/4/16)
- Poplar Bluff man accused of enticement, child porn in Scott County sting operation (12/4/16)
- Group seeks to create a neighborhood park on Cape Girardeau's south side (12/7/16)12
- Lt. Gov. Kinder weighs in on Trump's win, his future plans (12/4/16)13
- Cape police warn of 'Grandparent Scam' (12/4/16)
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