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OpinionLetters

Letter: Judicial records should be public

Allow us to

Allow us to "judge" which candidates are lenient, and which are law-and-order types. Credit: Jim Peppler, 2011

Newsday's editorial "A poor way to pick judges" [Oct. 7] correctly points out that when it comes to voting for judges, "The electorate has little or no knowledge of these candidates' track records, qualifications or political beliefs." But your suggested solution, having judges appointed, would be undemocratic and equivalent to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

We voters would not all be in the dark if only the judicial system would simply provide Newsday with detailed information about the sentencing records of criminal court judges. With legislators, their voting records are public knowledge.

For instance, what percentage of each judge's sentences were probations, suspended sentences or community service? How often did he or she merely fine a convicted criminal? What percentage of the sentences were for the maximum number of years in prison, and what percentage for the minimum term?

Allow us to "judge" which candidates are lenient, and which are law-and-order types.

Richard Siegelman, Plainview
 

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