Letters to the Editor

Rape law, Capitol melee, Benghazi and U.S. deaths, Afghan refugees, UC and facts

A state Senate panel moved this week to fortify California’s sexual-assault penalties in response to the case of a former Stanford swimmer who received a sentence widely criticized as too lenient.
A state Senate panel moved this week to fortify California’s sexual-assault penalties in response to the case of a former Stanford swimmer who received a sentence widely criticized as too lenient. The Associated Press

The time should fit the crime

Re “Lawmakers move to toughen sex assaults penalties” (Capitol & California, June 29): The outrage over Brock Turner’s punishment for sexual assault on the Stanford campus is understandable. But shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime? Should Turner’s punishment be two years, 10 years or 15 years behind bars?

That punishment is in line with manslaughter; there are people in our prisons doing less time for taking a life, the most horrendous of crimes. You grope a woman and you get jail time and may have to register as a sex offender. You punch and knock out a man and maybe you may get jail time.

I’ve discussed this with my female friends and my daughter, and the consensus is that the time should fit the crime. With all crime, from petty to the most serious, the punishment should fit the crime and not be based on emotion. The ACLU is correct; hastily made policy is not the appropriate way to make laws.

Michael Santos, Antelope

Jail those violently blocking rights

Re “Rally at the Capitol was a powder keg ” (Insight, June 29): How is it OK to assault someone just because you do not agree with them? We are guaranteed the right to free speech and the right to peacefully assemble, and it is up to law enforcement to protect these rights. The assailants should have been arrested and taken to jail.

It is time for our police to protect all of us.

Donald Stiger, Folsom

After Benghazi, probe gun deaths

Re “Benghazi panel releases report” (Page 8A, June 29): Perhaps Republican leadership, having done its best to assign responsibility for the four American deaths in Benghazi, should now investigate their own lack of responsibility for thousands of gun deaths in the United States.

Phil Van de Carr,

Carmichael

Helpers deserve more credit

Re “No Safe Place” (Special Report, June 26): The Sacramento Bee’s coverage of Afghan refugees, who fled to Sacramento after risking their lives to save American soldiers, is fascinating – and very sad.

However, as a board member of Opening Doors, I believe the stories and a subsequent editorial did a disservice to the local agencies that do this work every day. The Bee opines that “caseworkers are often inexperienced” yet nearly all of the Opening Doors team are former refugees who experienced the process, share the language and culture of new arrivals, and are well trained on rigorous federal compliance.

The Bee says refugees want more control of how their $2,025 per month is allocated for rent, furniture and food, but the federal guidelines afford little latitude. System reform is warranted – including giving resettlement agencies the tools and resources to support and sustain their good work on behalf of refugees.

Estelle Saltzman,

Sacramento

UC must inform us about facts

Re “UC spent $158,000 on campaign to counter critical state audit” (Insight, June 28): I was baffled by The Sacramento Bee’s decision to run a story implying there was something wrong with the University of California informing state residents about how it is working on behalf of Californians. This effort, which used no public funds, was intended to ensure the public, the Legislature and other interested parties had all the relevant information on UC’s admissions and other policies.

As such, it was appropriate to issue a report that compiles facts and provides context about UC. We strongly believe that all Californians benefit from a complete understanding of UC’s policies and practices, and we will not shirk from our commitment to provide Californians the necessary facts. These are not “arguments” as the story asserts.

Dianne Klein, Oakland,

director, media engagement and strategy,

UC Office of the President

Kudos to Oakland on rebuffing coal

Re “Oakland snuffs proposal for coal export facilities” (Capitol & California, June 29): Congratulations to Oakland for choosing a better, cleaner and healthier life for your citizens. Your decision not to allow a coal exporting terminal makes sense for the future.

Coal is a dirty and dying industry. The solar industry provides more jobs in the U.S. than the coal industry. Oakland is blessed with a great location, great weather and the natural beauty of the Bay Area. The city’s decision to protect your environment will be beneficial in the long run.

Robert Rodger, Los Osos

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