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Posted on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:36 a.m.

Alert neighbor interrupts home invasion, holds suspects until police arrive

By Cindy Heflin


Dezman Makowski-Smith

It was the best kind of neighborhood watch.

An Ypsilanti Township man who heard glass breaking Saturday night discovered two people who appeared to be in the process of burglarizing his neighbor’s home and held them in the back yard until police arrived, Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies said.


Donte Smith

The man was at his home in the 1400 block of Harry Street when he heard what sounded like glass breaking about 8:30 p.m., Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies said in a press release. He went to his neighbor’s house across the street to check it out and found a man leaving the home through a window and another man standing by the patio door. He ordered them to sit, and they complied.

“He used his powers of persuasion to make sure they didn’t go anywhere,” said Sgt. Geoffrey Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Nothing appeared to have been taken and the men did not have any weapons, Fox said. The rear window had been broken with a brick, police said.

The suspects, Dezman Makowski-Smith, 18, and Donte Smith, 17, both of Ypsilanti, were arraigned Sunday on charges of home invasion and malicious destruction of property.

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Alpha Alpha

Wed, Aug 15, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

Ms. Heflin? Any comments?


Wed, Aug 15, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

Don't hold your breath


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 6:16 p.m.

And he did it without a GUN!


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Djacks, nowhere does either story say he "drew down" on them. Nowhere.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

No he didn't! According to he did. But the real story is much different. He is licensed to carry and drew down on them to make them comply.

Ron Granger

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Have you ever seen that Three Stooges episode where Moe holds Curly and Larry in simultaneous headlocks? I'm guessing it was exactly like that.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 4:34 p.m.

""He used his powers of persuasion to make sure they didn't go anywhere," said Sgt. Geoffrey Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office." Really I suggest you include the important facts of the story and not just include the details that fit your liberal agenda. What if somebody unarmed decided to try to interrupt a crime in progress based on what writes and gets themselves hurt or killed? ""Draw my firearm, saw it was kids, put my firearm up, came and talked to them, made they sit down-- tried to get in their head and see what they were about," said Kennedy." Read more:


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Missing words, "...could just as easily *mean that* he secured it in his house..."


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

From paragraph quoted, it is impossible to positively conclude the neighbor actually took the gun with him when he confronted the kids. He said he "saw it was kids" then "put my firearm up," THEN "came and talked to them." "Put the firearm up" could just easily he secured it in his house, after he looked over there and saw what he thought were kids, before he confronted the kids. It's impossible to know either way by what's written in either account of the incident.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2 p.m. would be doing a valuable community service by fully reporting the facts in this story. The fact that a neighbor was alert to crime in their area is a useful deterrent to crime; the fact that the same neighbor was willing to use "powers of persuasion" to essentially make a citizens arrest is an even bigger deterrent. This selective reporting only serves to reinforce my view that is not a trustworthy news source, what essential facts are being left out of other stories?


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:40 p.m. fail! The story at WXYZ is much more detailed and gives what appears to be a much more complete picture of the event. A2dotcom, whitewashing a news story will not make guns go away (if that's what you intended), but it could make some of your readers go away.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

Here it is the morning after significant new details are available and this story has not been updated.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

Everyone is calling for them to go to jail for a long time yet people don't want to pay for the jails as they are very costly to run and criminals are let out of jail on a regular basis due to overcrowding. We have more people (per capita) in prison than any country in the world. So why are we in first in this category?


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 8:13 a.m.

Thanks (again) to Ricebrnr for providing the additional link. But in the end, I believe this is a situation which highlights the need for proper procedure by anyone witnessing a property crime. I would bet that police would (will) advise not to personally approach the suspects but to call 911 and act as a live observer until police can arrive and do a proper job of detention and/or arrest. Note the distinction: this was not an armed citizen intervening in a life or death situation, it was an armed citizen taking upon himself police authority - which he does not have when it comes to property crimes. It has nothing to do with being armed: it is the legal situation which says that one cannot put themselves or others in jeopardy by taking such initiatives AS IF they were a law enforcement officer dealing with a property crime. If the "good samaritan" or either of the two burglars had been injured or killed: the police statement about this incident would have been much different.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

That is why I said in the other statement suprised the police didn't arrest him. But it did state he holstered his weapon when they complied with his order to set down.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Sorry, Tru2Blu76, you're providing a recipe for the turn-the-other-way-and-keep-walking disease that affects way too much of our country. I could be wrong, but I believe we do have the power to affect a citizens arrest. Even if we don't, helping to protect your neighbor's property is a gesture that would always be met with goodwill on my side of town!


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 3:19 a.m.

Ha Ha, he told them to sit down and they did. Parents must be strict. They obeyed.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

Actually brian, they obeyed because the person telling them to sit down had a gun in his hand. But that wasn't reported here, only on the linked story. Get your CPL's people!


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

Thanks to the neighbor that stuck his neck out and that the alleged criminals were sensible. How easily could this have been a repeat of the Zimmerman case? and if so would we be seeing pictures of them from when they were 12, would we be armchair quarterbacking another "cowboy / Rambo / cop-wannabe"?

Use Logic

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

Is there any particular reason why the presence of a firearm in the hands of the neighbor was omitted from this article? I sincerely hope Ms. Heflin simply did not know when she wrote this story...otherwise this is the epitome of journalistic bias.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

As has been pointed out by staff on many occasions, they print the information that is released by the law enforcement agency for these types of stories. If it wasn't in whatever WCSD released, then didn't have it. The local TV stations send out fleets of reporters and cameramen, interview people, etc. staff isn't out doing investigative crime reporting. They are reading press releases and maybe making some follow up phone calls.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

The original story was released at about 10:30 this morning. The WXYZ story was updated about 6pm this evening I believe.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

An update by staff and not Ricebrnr would have been appropriate! Thanks Ricebrnr


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

As I suggested early on they were scared to death NOT RESPECTFUL!


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

Good grief! Omitting the fact that the neighbor had a firearm as part of his arsenal of persuasion, completely changes the story and the comments being generated!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

If they had put these guys in juvie for a few years the first time they stole a pencil from another student, this would never have happened. I think they should also incarcerate all of their siblings, because they no doubt helped them figure out the value of this breakin. Do any of you really think that someone who is sent to prison will spend the time thinking about how he did wrong and deciding to dedicate his life to good? When your parents punished you, did you sit in your room and think about the righteousness of your parents, or did you think you would like to get a new set of parents who weren't so mean? Most prisoners blame, not themselves, but the judge or the cop or their parents or the school or the prosecutor or their own incompetent lawyer or.... Let's read up on the problems with punishment first, and then let's see what we can come up with.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

Don't you know a sarcasm when you hear one. Please read the rest of my comment. It's more useful to read the entire comment before getting all medieval on me. Reductio ad absurdum.

Detached Observer

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

" I think they should also incarcerate all of their siblings, because they no doubt helped them figure out the value of this breakin. " Seriously? Seriously? Last I heard this was 2012, not 1220.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

Much better coverage without biased omissions here


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Much better coverage of story there. I see my guess that he was armed was correct. Good job. Suprised the police didn't arrest him for holding them.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:06 a.m. loses major points in my book for not reporting relevant facts. It is all fine and good if they want to have an editorial position, but their reporters need to include what's known. This seriously shakes my trust in the reporting here. "I go to get my shoes. As I go to get my shoes, I hear the glass shatter. I'm licensed to carry. So I go over there not knowing what I was going to see," said Kennedy. Police said they have identified 18-year-old Dezman Makowski-Smith and 17-year-old Donte Smith as the suspects who were trying to break into the home to steal items from inside. "Draw my firearm, saw it was kids, put my firearm up, came and talked to them, made they sit down-- tried to get in their head and see what they were about," said Kennedy. Read more:


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

Another GOOD case made for the legal carry of a firearm. The good neighbor is licensed to carry (CPL) and used his firearm to detain the two criminals until WCSD arrived and took the two into custody. In effect, it was a citizens arrest by the neighbor, who witnessed a home invasion in progress and in his presence. Kudo's to the good neighbor!


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

"He used his powers of persuasion to make sure they didn't go anywhere," Is that code for Smith and Wesson?


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

GTD, are you seriously going to compare the murder of a police officer by an armed gunman who opened fire on law enforcement and strangers to two unarmed burglars? You think the crazed gunman in TX stopped to give people a chance to talk to him? Where's your perspective?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

that police officer in Texas who just died was armed. Why is it that he was unable to use his "power of persuasion" that you think is so effective?

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

clearly guns would have made this situation better... /s this is another example of solving a tricky situation without using lethal force. Why are you and so many others on this board so quick to jump to that conclusion?

Atlas Shrugged

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

You read my mind re: "power of persuasion" -- but here it's not Mr. S & W, but Mr. Glock (senior and junior) Mr. Taurus (also big daddy and a little one), Mr. CZ, Mr. Kimber, Mr. Springfield, and a host of other friends who "persuade" intruders. In all seriousness, it's great that the gentleman stopped things quickly and without any blood being shed.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Great Job neighbor, thank you for your part.

Linda Peck

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

These boys look much older than their years.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

These children should be let go because it is society's fault that they did this! If these "RICH" people didn't have so much in their home these "POOR" children would not have been tempted to practice social justice and take it. YOU ARE THE BLAME for there crime!


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

I thought they were being sarcastic...


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

must be a democrat, everyone should be able to have the same things. Shareing the wealth.

Huron 74

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

THAT is the silliest thing i ever heard. They know what they did is wrong. "They can't learn any younger", as my Dad used to say!


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.



Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

Wait...I thought this would be Obama's fault?


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

"...He ordered them to sit, and they complied..." Heck, my dog can do that. I hope they both got doggie treats as a reward.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

If found quilty, lock them up for the maximum sentence allowed. Put them on lifetime probation. Charge the 17 year old's parents every charge they can that pertains to not raising your children correctly. I don't want to take a chance on them. The criminal justice system is too soft.

Matt Cooper

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

Let's see. You now want to incarcerate the parent's for the acts of the child. And that will accomplish exactly what? And who will parent the children while the parents are in Jackson or Huron Valley or whever you want to warehouse them? And who will pay to lock them up? And who will pay for the care of these children? Is this really the best you can come up with?

greg, too

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

This is something that I have never understood. If the criminal is a minor, they are still technically the responsibility of their parents/guardians Why shouldn't their parents/guardians be punished for their children's crimes? They are supposed to be the first authority figures in a child's life, so maybe we should force them to be accountable for the children in their homes. There has to be some way to get the parents involved in these children's lives. If it takes jail time or fines, well then, that's what needs to be done.

Robert Granville

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

Why is it that we as Americans don't understand that our justice system is an abject failure? We see a story about criminals and call for them to be incarcerated for the longest time possible. We incarcerate more people for longer than anywhere else in the world. Our crime rates aren't falling because of it. Where is the disconnect? Why won't we approach criminal justice logically with the goal of reducing crime and recidivism? Why is there no willingness to attempt a different approach? Why do we refuse to take notes from the far more successful justice systems of other countries?


Wed, Aug 15, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

This is partly a National problem, but more a local problem. Washtenaw County is known to be weak on crime. It's a reflection of the voters mindset. I'm sure these guys were back on the street hours after their arrest.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

Singapore has a very low crime rate. Perhaps we should try their approach. The " rich " ohio kid who didn't want to be caned is rehabilitated and no longer keying Mercedes Benz cars.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Some countries do more severe things , like if caught stealing they cut off a hand. Public whippings or stoneing. They should be made to do community service, pick trash up off the freeways and local streets while paying for their supervision while doing said projects.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Part of the problem is the idea that one size fits all. Anyone looking for one solution doesn't have an understanding of the problem. There are different types of criminals, who commit different types of offenses for different reasons. Robert Granville, you are right, and so is the Ghost of Tom Joad. It's obvious these kids still had some type of fear/conscience reaction to being confronted, which does not mean they should not be punished, but does mean they should be treated as people who can still be turned around. Certain heinous crimes should absolutely come with swift, brutal and unwaivering penalties--rape, child assault/abuse, pre-mediated murder--but do not in today's justice system. Other crimes, like petty theft, drug possession, etc., need a flexible system that can be used most effectively depending on the history of the person convicted. This is also not happening, as evidenced by the wild discrepancies and problems with current mandatory minimum sentences for some types of non-violent offenses.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

facts and figures won't do anything to dissuade those who let their minds be governed by fear. When someone sees a crime their immediate response is to try to separate themselves from it as much as possible. In most cases, that means lock them away and never deal with them again. But, as you realize, and point out in your comment, this system is an abject failure to do anything it is set out to do. It doesn't rehabilitate people and it doesn't deter future criminals. All it does is cost taxpayers (ironic how this wasteful spending is never high on the list of people who cry about taxes) billions of dollars, annually. Which is great if you own a for-profit prison...

Jack Campbell

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

I am all for an eye for an eye.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Write your congressman. That's all I can suggest. The problem with the US isn't an unwillingness to accept a new system. The problem is that when comparing the current system to one in which criminals get set free, we only see the recidivism rates. We see that "Oh, they'll just be back in the system in 6 months." So if you can come up with a way to implement a new system, without letting go all of the offenders under the old system, and still be fiscally responsible, then write your congressman, write your legislators, and get the word out. America is nothing if not waiting and wanting a change, we just need to be shown the way. Go for it.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Glad they're in jail, now if only we could get them locked up for a meaningful amount of time...


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

5 years= $170,000 paid by taxpayers to keep each one locked up, X2.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

Five years in Jackson would just educate them to be more serious vriminals. That's the main thing people learn in prison. Are you really willing to turn these young men into hardened, brutalized criminals instead of trying something less extreme? Also, five years will cost us all a ton of money, and even more when they get out and start armed robbery and such and get back into prison for life.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Robo I think 5 years would get their attention. What would you think would be proper? 2 weeks at summer camp?


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

and what in your eyes would that be?


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

I find it amazing that they actually sat down when he told them to and didn't run. Perhaps he knew them and they knew him. On the other hand I am so glad that it wasn't someone with a weapon that could have killed him.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

"Fact is the good neighbor is licensed to carry, AND held the two boys AT GUNPOINT until WCSD arrived and arrested them!" Hmm? Wonder why Ghost doesn't have a now? Funny how didn't report this as this really is an important factor in the story.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

It makes one wonder if he was armed in some fashion?


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

If the man who held them had a gun, that would indeed be a relevant fact to this story. Usually I don't bash, but come on... did he have one or didn't he?


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

Now why wasn't this reported? Readers / adults clearly already can surmise the actual reason. Did police not give this detail or was it purposefully omitted?


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Fact is the good neighbor is licensed to carry, AND held the two boys AT GUNPOINT until WCSD arrived and arrested them!

Matt Cooper

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

Not sure how you figure that home invasion or borglary will bring " a slap on the wrist, a small fine, and probation. No jail time. Guaranteed." According to the Michigan Criminal Code, depending on certain variables and degrees of seriousness, home invasion/breaking and entering can bring up to ten years max per count. Let's not forget that we live in a society where the standard is 'the punishment must fit the crime' without being excessive.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

GTJ, if they still had respect for authority they wouldn't have (allegedly) committed the crime. Frankly it's probably a lack of respect for authority that caused them to surrender. They know that all they'll get is a slap on the wrist, a small fine, and probation. No jail time. Guaranteed. Then they'll be free with the knowledge that there's really not a whole lot of punishment for the crime, so feel free to rob the next house (mine) until something dire happens...

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

jcj, oh, i don't know. maybe the fact that they LISTENED. And Cory, I'm glad they didn't go at your house too, otherwise we'd have dead people to be arguing about. Clearly guns weren't necessary here and you would have only made a bad situation worse.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Ghost What evidence do you have that they"still have a bit of respect for authority"? Its just as possible they were scared to death!


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Glad they picked that house. I live across the street and sleep with a gun on my nightstand.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

it's because they were kids and not hardened criminals. they still have a bit of respect for authority in them yet.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

I wish our criminal justice system would punish these kids harshly. You know they will be out and doing this again really soon in another neighborhood. Sad situation all around.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Its a proven fact that while specific criminals are incarcerated they are also not committing more crimes against the rest of society. Its a proven fact that the entire time they are locked up their crime rates are virtually nil.

Matt Cooper

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

Suggestion for you jcj. Why not try reading my posts before commenting on them? Hmm? You said "...all you propose is not putting people in jail." I made no such proposal and I challenge you to show me where I said anything like that. Contrary to your assesment of my position, in another post I clearly stated that incarceration must be present as ONE COMPONENT of the sentencing disposition. Further, and I've read it a couple times to make sure, I stated rather directly that I don't have a solution. Possible solutions suggested by others are to give inmates educational opportunities while locked up, with the theory being that this may make it easier for inmates returning to the world to get jobs, thereby reducing recividism. Another suggestion is to teach inmates job skills they can use in the world to get decent paying jobs as a means of keeping them out of prison. Another would be to teach them better social skills and help them to get accustomed to living in a world without the need to commit crimes. Whether these approaches work or not is debatable, but I have worked in the past with MPRI, and have seen firsthand the hard work parolees put into bettering themselves and trying to do what they need to to stay out of prison by getting an education, learning job skills and trying to better socialize themselves and become better citizens. Think what you will, but the proven fact is that these are better tools to use to lower crime than adding on years to a criminal sentence.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

Kids- yes they are kids despite what it may say on the calendar - do stupid things and are generally bad at weighing consequences. They do not sit down and do a cost-benefit analysis, they think they are invincible. Sending these kids to prison - aka college for criminals - will teach them the skills they need to not get caught next time, carry a gun if you do, and shoot anyone who confronts you.


Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 1:39 a.m.

Matt Sorry for the sarcasm. But the "fact" is, all you propose is not putting people in jail. Certainly you would not suggest a 2 week sentence for all crimes. So I assume you would prefer ???

Detached Observer

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

They deserve leniency because they immediately surrendered when they were caught. These are obviously not hardened criminals, because if they were, they would have run away or fought the man who caught them.

Matt Cooper

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

jcj, why such sarcasm? Rough day at the office? Did I say I have a solution? No, I did not, nor do I pretend to know how to fix it. But facts are facts, and the fact is that adding years on end to criminal sentences does nothing to deter crime or to lower in any meaningful way crime rates. And why people still cry for more years, more years and more years baffles me for that very reason. While it may take one specific individual off the streets, there are always 7 or 8 more ready and willing to take his place.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

Matt We eagerly await your solution! I will say this.I never had to tell my boys twice to do something, after the first shall we say encounter.

Matt Cooper

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

Cory, while I appreciate your logic, the fact is that a great many longitudinal studies have shown again and again that punishment is not, nor has it ever been, a deterrent to crime. If it were, there would never be a second execution after the final results of the first one. Of course, any crime against the people must have some sort of punishment as a component to the sentencing, but as a deterrent, longer prison or jail stays simply don't work.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

@tom joad: They are NOT kids. The 18 year old is an adult. I went in the Navy when I was 17. B&E is not a mistake.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

I really wish you could reply in a tree instead of this single-level forum. Anywho, Robert, I propose to you that in fact much much harsher sentences would reduce crime. If you know that your only punishment will be a small fine, community service, and probation, what punishment is there? 6 months after the fact and it doesn't affect your life one bit (I'm of course assuming that they lie on their future job applications). On the other hand, if you know, before you throw that rock through the window, that you could be locked up for the next 10 years, wouldn't that cause you to think twice? If you knew the fine for speeding was $10,000 and you'd have your license suspended for 3 years, aren't you going to pay more attention to speed limit signs? I do agree though that post-incarceration rehabilitation needs a LOT of improvement. The whole "Ok, you're out, we'll see you once in a while" system is just asinine. Do the crime -> Then do the time -> Then learn not to do it again.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

GTJ, if it were my kid, I'd tell them to lock him up for as long as they can. Obviously my lessons on how to be a good person and citizen weren't effective enough. Then, when they got out, if they want to live under my roof, they abide by my rules, and hard labor is just the start of it.

Robert Granville

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Just because the issue hits home doesn't mean you should suspend logical thought. Harsh punishments don't rehabilitate criminals or lower recidivism rates. What would you rather have: the comfort of vengeance on the perpetrators or less burglaries? You cannot have both.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

local, when it's your children who make a mistake, you might look at it differently too.


Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Ghost, easy to say when it isn't your house being broken into. Until you have lived through it like my family has, I would recommend you take a different look the situation.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

wow, they're kids. I'm sure you had this same perspective when you were a child. The justice system isn't there to simply dole out the harshest punishment possible. In many cases, that will only further perpetuate the problem at the core of their actions. Rather than further limit their opportunities through isolation, how about give them a punishment that increases their vested interest in their community?