Letters to the Editor

Make punishment fit our crime

In response to the writer of " '3 strikes' isn't supposed to be for minor crime" (Aug. 8, Letters): Thank you for responding to my letter ("Do I deserve life for petty theft?" Aug. 4) in an honest and positive way. The voters were misled by Mike Reynolds, the author of the "Three Strikes" law. Prisons are overpopulated; correctional officers are overworked and taxpayers are forking over the cash. You'd be surprised how many women in Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla are doing 25-to-life for petty theft -- from clothes to a pack of cigarettes.

People need to know. I speak for my buddies doing life who have no voice, who have lost hope, lost families and lost any chance of parole simply because we have a disease.

What happened to reform and rehab? Please people, read the fine print. It's not always what it seems. We have no money to pay for effective counsel, so the courts appoint a "public pretender." We aren't saying we're innocent; we aren't asking for sympathy. All we ask is that the punishment fit the crime! We aren't saints, but we are far from Satan. We do not deserve life in hell!

ADELA TALAMANTE

inmate, Public Safety Center

Modesto

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