Pubdate: Sun, 01 Dec 2002
Source: Birmingham News, The (AL)
Copyright: 2002 The Birmingham News
Author: Chris Retan


Your article on Jefferson County's plan to reduce jail overcrowding by
expediting the settlement of cases involving nonviolent offenders
demonstrates why Gov. Don Siegelman should strongly consider
appointing Laura Petro to Jefferson County's open judgeship.

Siegelman has been a strong leader in the development of alternative
programs for nonviolent offenders, especially those who are addicted
to drugs. He understands that our communities will be stronger when
addicted offenders are forced to get off drugs, get a job, support
their families and pay restitution to their victims.

Petro has the same understanding and commitment. While no one is
tougher on violent offenders than Petro, she is also a strong
supporter of drug treatment and other alternatives for nonviolent offenders.

Alabama's jails and prisons have been stretched to the breaking point
with nonviolent offenders who could be better punished in the
community. We need judges who share Siegelman's philosophy that
expensive prison space should be reserved for serious and violent
offenders. The governor would serve the citizens of Jefferson County
well by appointing Petro as our county's next judge.

South Jefferson County
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