David and Mindy Winston, organizers of the Coalition for Breast...

David and Mindy Winston, organizers of the Coalition for Breast Cancer Cures Inc., in Nassau County court (Aug. 16, 2011) Credit: Howard Schnapp

David and Mindy Winston admitted that they misused $500,000 from breast cancer donors ["Guilty in cancer scam," News, Aug. 17]. Although David Winston will get 2 to 6 years in prison on fraud and grand larceny charges for running a bogus charity, District Court Judge Francis Ricigliano will be sentencing Mindy Winston only to probation after she admitted to falsifying business records.

The maximum sentence for her crime is 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. Are there any current American criminal court judges who take their job of protecting law-abiding citizens from law-breakers seriously enough to throw the book at every convicted defendant? There don't seem to be many.

True justice for victims, their families and society demands that people convicted of crimes be sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by law for each crime they have been found guilty of. That means no suspended sentences, probation, in-house detention, weekends-only in jail or early parole. It especially means no concurrent sentences -- the equivalent of a buy-one-get-one free sale.

We need a truth-in-sentencing law that means sentences of "up to (x) years" would require the convicted to serve the full term in prison without so-called time off for good behavior.

Richard Siegelman, Plainview