10/21/09 — Watch closely: Now you know why you need to have a say in anyone who is put in office

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Watch closely: Now you know why you need to have a say in anyone who is put in office

It was not a decision made this week, last week or even last year.

The quirk in the law that will let 20 convicted violent criminals free at the end of October was not made by any of the men and women who are now forced to deal with its consequences.

And, if by chance any of those who passed such a ridiculous law are still around, right next door to their homes is where these inmates should be located.

But we digress.

The fiasco that has become a life sentence that is not a life sentence is the perfect motivation to make a point about why it is so important to ask all kinds of questions of those who will represent you as a member of Congress, a state legislator or as a judge.

Decisions like this -- seemingly harmless -- can come back to haunt a victim and a community.

The idea for this life limit was created in a legislative discussion and by someone who had a theory about crime and punishment -- and this state now must abide by that decision, even though the rules have changed.

And like it or not, for now, the average North Carolina citizen has absolutely no say in whether these people can be released.

But there is a way to make sure something this stupid never happens again.

Pay attention to all of the positions of the politicians you elect -- not just the obvious ones like taxes.

You might be surprised to learn that the candidate you are supporting might have a bad decision in his or her future.

Published in Editorials on October 21, 2009 10:47 AM