- Two men seriously hurt in crash near Fruitland (9/21/16)3
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)7
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
- Funeral procession of former Cape Girardeau police chief Henry H. Gerecke (9/22/16)17
- Cape man accused of attacking pregnant girlfriend (9/22/16)
- Driver charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 (9/27/16)
- Show Me Center upgrades may allow facility to draw more elaborate shows (9/21/16)17
- Man convicted of Perryville convenience-store heist (9/21/16)
- Planning, design puts renovations of H-H building into hotel on hold (9/26/16)4
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