Letters to the Editor

Restorative justice

I was saddened to read that a young man who accidentally shot and killed his friend will spend over five years in prison.

What purpose will this sentence serve this man or society? There was no intent to harm the victim who was his good friend. Would the victim want his friend to go to prison? If we in the community believe the shooter should be punished, we would do well to look at the punishment he has already received: the loss of his friend and the huge emotional burden of living with what he did during an evening of irresponsible behavior with drugs and gun play. No one else will be deterred from similar behavior by this sentence.

We need to look less at punishment and more at restorative justice in order to reduce our prison population and truly have more opportunity to correct the misdirection of young lives.

Michael Chiavario, Bellingham