Bad sentence handed down for teen

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 2, 2014 

The prison sentence for Austen Almeida, a former Bluffton High student who brought a gun and 12 knives to school, appears to be a travesty of our justice system.

While he admitted he intended to cause harm, he turned himself in prior to actually acting out. In a strict application of the law, the sentence of up to five years in prison may be correct, but common sense tells us that Austen needs psychiatric care now, not in five years. This delayed treatment could cause permanent mental damage. He needs to be committed to psychiatric care for as long as is necessary to ensure he has himself under control.

Today we seem to strictly follow the book rather than temper its application with good judgment and common sense.

Frank J. Chmelik


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