Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver enters a...

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver enters a vehicle outside a federal courthouse in Manhattan after being sentenced on July 20, 2020. Silver was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for his conviction on corruption charges. Credit: Charles Eckert

Is it any wonder that people continue to be skeptical and disgusted with our political system when felon Sheldon Silver, the former New York State Assembly speaker, is released to home confinement after serving only the first eight months of a more than six-year sentence ["Source: Silver furloughed," News, May 5]?

After twice being convicted of corruption for his willful abuse of his position of authority in state government, and after several appeals, he was finally sentenced to prison, where he belongs. The sentencing judge tried to send a message by denying his request to serve time at home, the U.S. Attorney’s Office opposes his release, and still he is allowed out.

When Silver was violating the public trust, breaking the law and making a lot of money, he likely never worried he might get caught. But he was, and after being found guilty, he should have to pay the price, which is prison.

The bottom line should be, like the adage, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

Joseph Blaettler, Smithtown

What crime has to be committed for a high-ranking former elected official to be made to face justice?

Sheldon Silver was originally convicted of seven felonies in 2015. He spent years free while he took advantage of the system. He received a 6 1⁄2-year sentence, and now, after only a few months behind bars, he has been released, pending a review and potential suspended sentence.

How is justice served by making a powerful politician who fleeced his constituents repay a paltry 25% in restitution and serve a mere fraction of his sentence behind bars? What a mockery of justice.

Our federal and many state governments, in my view, are corrupt. Why does leadership in corruption of justice have to be among New York State’s attributes? We can and must do better.

I call on our governor, our two senators, the state parole board and all principled elected officials — Democrat and Republican — to stand against this decision.

Silver deserves the sentence he received, and the residents of New York State deserve to see he serves his time. COVID-19 infection rates are dropping every day. Vaccinate him, rescind his parole and send him back to prison.

Jeff R. Levyns, Bay Shore

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