A travesty in the court

One need look no further than Page A3 of yesterday’s Maui News to discern why there is so little respect for our criminal justice system.

Under a headline “‘Deal of the century’ in multiple thefts case,” the story related how a woman who pleaded no contest to 31 charges in four cases received probation. Oh, yeah, and during her lifetime she has 122 arrests and 29 felony convictions.

This time around she was charged with nine counts of second-degree theft, seven counts of identity theft, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information, eight counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, three counts of theft of a credit card and third-degree theft. Oh, and throw in a count of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

The woman is a one-person crime wave.

It is obvious from the most recent charges that the woman’s previous interactions with the law have had no redeeming effect on her. So what makes the judge and the prosecutor think the 123rd time is the charm?

At what point does protection of the community enter into decisions about sentences?

Some judges and prosecutors apparently view the process like a confessional. Come in and admit your sins (or, in this case, at least don’t dispute them) and we’ll give you absolution.

What other explanation can there be for this nonsensical non-sentence?

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.