4

Reader: Carol Chambers's pursuit of long prison sentences for 1st time offenders costs plenty

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Alan Prendergast followed his initial story about tween Jacob Christenson, who faces a second-degree arson charge in Douglas County for a fire set last May, with a suggestion that district attorney Carol Chambers talk publicly about the case. Thus far, however, this invite has only been taken up by readers. An example:

Guest writes:

Chambers is charging the 10 year old according to a heightened "knowingly" standard. She should have charged pursuant to a lesser "negligence" (or, maybe, "releckness") standard commensurate with the crime. No one is trying to excuse anything or say there shouldn't be consequences and/or restitution. But what Chambers is doing (and does regularly as I know from a very analogous case that I personally witnessed) is precisely what Alan indicates -- overcharging for the sole purpose of gaining unfair leverage in negotiation for plea deals. She's actively trying to put people in an impossible position that completely undercuts the whole intent of the plea bargain process. The results are simply unjust. While throwing around her power in this way is hardly illegal, it is most certainly unethical.

Whatever motivates Chambers (politics? vengeance? her own constitutional bitterness?), it is doing little to provide additional security to our communities while actively undermining the interests of justice. (Btw, it is also undermining the power of your wallet as she unnecessarily (and unjustly) pursues long prison sentences for first-time offenders who would have done just as well with a variety of more lenient consequences. The costs of keeping those people in jail are something we each bear directly.)

Thanks for writing this, Alan. You hit the nail on the head with regard to her tactics. They are a flagrant abuse of power, and the sooner she is out of office, the better this world will be.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.