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Lake County state’s attorney was right to charge teens with murder in Gurnee shooting

They might get probation on a reduced charge in the end, but they need to learn that the justice system is not a joke

I seriously disagree with your editorial on the felony murder charge against five teens (“Charge of murder against five teens in Gurnee shooting is a stretch,” Aug. 15).

With so much violence, a message needs to be sent that when you choose to commit a crime, your are responsible for the events you set in motion. I am not sure how this will all end up. But from a psychological point of view as a former prosecutor, I can tell you it makes a difference when defendants, juvenile and adult, realize it isn’t a game, when it isn’t a given that they will get probation and go home.

You have to shake their certainty that nothing will really happen. They might get probation on a reduced charge in the end, but they need to learn that the justice system is not a joke, and they need to earn any more lenient result. There are serious consequences to criminal acts, or at least there should be.

A judge or prosecutor might relent if they see some hope of change in a person, but you have to start off with reality. Someone died and another person, the 75-year-old gentleman, could have died and is still affected as a victim of a violent crime.

With all the shootings and violence, lessening a person’s responsibility does not help. We decry the deaths and violence, and then are shocked when people are seriously charged. We cannot have it both ways.

The Lake County state’s attorney has nothing to explain. He is right to charge them as he did. What happens next is up to the defendants in some sense and their history. But the defendants are not the victims. That must be clear.

Bill Donahue, Danville

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Bashing the press is what Trump does, not the left

I was shocked to read S.E. Cupp’s assertion that “bashing the press is becoming a bipartisan affair.”

Cupp cites instances in which a few Democratic candidates have disparaged some of the media coverage of them. But she fails in finding an equivalency between a few personal gripes and an all-out assault by the president on the institution of a free press.

President Donald Trump has called the press “an enemy of the people.” He personally criticizes and insults reporters who simply disseminate facts and encourages violence against them at his rallies. “Fake news” has been the rallying cry of his administration, as he tries to intimidate and threaten the media.

The left is not “waging war on the media.” The left vigorously supports the press as the bulwark of our democracy.

Carol Kraines, Deerfield