Punishment out of proportion to crime

I purchased The Inter-Mountain newspaper and read the incredible story on Sept. 1, 2017 with the headline “Man charged with third-offense shoplifting.”

I don’t know Mr. Gillespie nor do I know the details of the two previous shoplifting incidents. However, I find it shockingly unbelievable that an individual, if convicted, could be sentenced to 10 years in the state penitentiary for stealing $5 worth of soda.

The punishment is way out of proportion with the crime. It smacks of medieval justice.

Additionally, I can’t believe that our courts (and potentially our prisons) are spending time, money and resources on cases of such minuscule monetary value.

Moreover, as we all know, crimes of much greater proportion, including white collar crimes, are never prosecuted as diligently.

This issue should have been resolved by asking the guilty party to pay on the spot for his soda and the matter put to rest there and then.

Eric Bernard

Canaan Valley

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