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LETTER: Thimm is effective

To the Telegram: I wanted to address the upcoming judicial election between Kelly Thimm and Dan Blank. I have worked for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department now for 10 years, and I have been reading some of the opinions sent to the newspaper,...

To the Telegram:

I wanted to address the upcoming judicial election between Kelly Thimm and Dan Blank. I have worked for the Douglas County Sheriff's Department now for 10 years, and I have been reading some of the opinions sent to the newspaper, and would like to share my thoughts.

Does Lance Nelsen who stated in a letter there is no place for interest groups in a judicial race think as social creatures we can completely turn off our emotions and act like we don't care what an offender did, or that a person received too harsh a sentence?

I have arrested people who are sinister people, but nonetheless treated them with respect and dignity if for nothing else they are still human beings. I have also taken a stand for those I felt were treated too harshly by the system, and asked the District Attorney's Office for help reducing or minimizing their exposure to punishment.

It's not emotion that the system tries to eliminate, but decisions made by unchecked emotions. An example is I would want a judge or jury to be upset that an offender had killed and raped my mother, but I would want them to find guilt, and sentence that person based on the facts presented in the case.

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I'm sure Mr. Nelsen as a defense attorney has had clients he does not like, because he knows they have done the crime, but defends them to the best of his ability anyway. That is his job, but to say no emotion exists, or he himself doesn't have an interest in the system is not an accurate portrayal.

As a deputy, I have worked with both Dan and Kelly. Both are decent people who care about the community where they live and work. My problem is one I've seen for the last 10 years, which is an interest in not giving proper weight to the punishment aspect of the criminal justice system. Like many things in life we can lean too far in one direction.

Some jurisdictions are too heavy handed with punishment, and thus don't take into account mitigating circumstances when sentencing people. I believe our jurisdiction has been biased in the opposite direction. We have given too much weight to the offenders and their circumstances, and not enough to the victims of crimes. I have no issue with giving people second chances that have little or no criminal history, have drug dependency issues, had poor family life, or simply made a bad choice. My problem is when offenders keep repeating these behaviors, and they don't receive more severe consequences.

Kelly Thimm is the prosecutor who I believe has used discretion most effectively. He balances victims, offenders, and the community's interests when making his decisions as prosecutor, and I know he would do the same as judge. Please join me in supporting Kelly's candidacy for Douglas County judge.

-- Michael Miller,

Solon Springs

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