Consider prior records when sentencing criminals

March 27, 2013 

I was pleased with Judge Hyman’s ruling on animal cruelty and hopefully it will send a strong message to those who would mistreat animals in such a way.

However, it is quite bewildering to be aware of how leniently felons are dealt with in Horry County and the brief time many are incarcerated.

Unfortunately, some time ago I was the victim of one such offender. As a result of very extensive research the following was discovered: The offender had been tried 23 times in Kershaw County (13 times by the same judge). These crimes included assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and also assault and battery with the intent to kill. Altogether he has been tried 10 times for assault. The subject was also tried once in Sumter County, twice in Florence County, once in Marion County and seven times in Horry County. He will soon be extradited to Brunswick County to be tried for arson and destruction of tires on several vehicles. Not withstanding the above, this man has been sentenced to long periods commensurate for the crimes.

The above man has never received a “habitual criminal status” and has been in and out of jail for the past 20 years. I can only hope the Horry County solicitor and judges will look more closely at the past records of such offenders and deal with them as dangerous repeat offenders, putting them in prison for very long periods.

The writer lives in Calabash, N.C.

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