I sympathize with Don Stevens' frustration (Our Readers Write, Sept. 1) over the lenient punishments given to many individuals for criminal acts. However, I have had the opportunity to serve on our local grand jury and understand that often it is impossible to secure a conviction in our court systems due to legal maneuvering. For that reason, district attorneys often agree to lesser charges and lesser penalties so that a conviction is acquired. This is frustrating not only to citizens, but to district attorneys and police officers as well.

It is impossible to know all the facts regarding any criminal case without participating in the court proceedings. It is important that we not judge based on the partial facts that can be published in the newspaper.

Kim E. Vogel

Hood River

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