- Missing Jackson woman found dead in Bollinger County pond (06/23/16)3
- Many Jackson students may face random drug-testing (06/26/16)30
- Village of Zalma must disincorporate, law says (06/23/16)5
- Jackson man accused of felony assault after attack at Cape bar (06/26/16)7
- I want an angry president (06/21/16)17
- Coroner asks for grand jury in Poplar Bluff fatal hit-and-run case (06/28/16)
- Man allegedly kicks woman, punches man after denied a sexual favor (06/23/16)
- Witness says he saw suspect kill his best friend (06/24/16)
- Officials: Ash borer less of a problem here than in St. Louis (06/27/16)
- Business notebook: Melting Co. adds to Cape's food-truck fleet (06/27/16)
Juvenile justice needs reform
To the editor:
We appreciate the coverage the Southeast Missourian is giving to juvenile-offender reform. I would like to clarify a statement in the Aug. 9 article.
Jonathan had requested to be put in the juvenile program and had been evaluated and accepted into it. His request was denied because Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle wanted the harshest punishment possible as an adult for him. Judge David Dolan imposed that sentence.
While it is true the judge has to take all things into consideration, the state juvenile personnel do not have to recommend a juvenile be placed in the program if, in their opinion, the juvenile can't be rehabilitated. The head of the state juvenile department testified at Jonathan's hearing recommending he be placed in the juvenile program.
The fact that our family has personal experience in this is the reason we feel strongly in favor of juvenile-justice reform. Jonathan would be alive today and have a chance at a bright future if he had been given an opportunity to pay for his crime in an environment that would guide, educate and help him with becoming an adult.
CAROL McCLARD, Jackson