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Letter: Is the United States' prison sentencing too harsh?

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Magda Aleman, a housewife and mother of three children, was murdered in her Sandy home in 2010. Cody Alan Reece, 32, was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole for killing her during a burglary.

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I read with sadness about the sentencing of Cody Reece for the murder of Magda Aleman in which Reece was sent to prison for life without parole ("Burglar who murdered Sandy mother in her home will never be paroled," Sept. 10).

First, my heart goes out to the Aleman family for their horrible loss. Reece was a childhood friend of mine, and I've found that these things aren't just abstract when there's a personal connection. If guilty, he needs to face the consequences of his actions. What I can't understand, however, is the point of sending a person to prison for life without even the chance of earning a future parole.

I wonder if people understand that among Western nations we, as Americans, are extremists when it comes to the severity of prison sentencing. Do we not see that the stigmatized, shamed and hated are very much included when Jesus Christ speaks of the "least of these?" Do we give no credence to the ideas of helping the sick, reformation or forgiveness and believe that there is truly no hope for these people?

While we should always serve the victimized, I can't help but believe it is a self-righteous barbarism that leads us to throw these men and women into the proverbial garbage can, left to suffer there for life.

Pat Barnum

Lehi

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