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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crime: Alexander Letkemann Sentenced

Well, his family is probably miserable, and the victim's family, who have demonstrated charity, mercy, and forgiveness hitherto unseen by us, at any rate, is not likely to be much happier.

Alexander James Letkemann has been sentenced to 20-30 years in prison for murder in the second degree, disinterment, and mutilation in the killing of Daniel Sorenson. He will serve a minimum of 20 years.

Mr. Letkemann escaped being convicted of murder by accepting a plea deal in which he testified against his cohort in crime, Jean-Pierre Orlewicz. Orlewicz was 17 years old and Letkemann 18 when they murdered Mr. Sorenson. Orlewicz has testified that Letkemann took no part in the murder but assisted in cleaning up and disposing of the corpse in repayment of a debt owed to Orlewicz.

Repaying that debt will cost him two decades of his life. When he leaves prison, he will be nearly 40 years old, with little significant education or skills or character or career development. He will be released into a world that bears little resemblance to the one he will soon leave behind. He may not be able to cope. There won't be much help. His parents may not survive long enough for him to see them again.

Poor kid, was it worth it in the end?

Orlewicz will be sentenced next month. As the primary instigator, planner, and actor in this murder, he will receive a much harsher sentence.

In other, tangentially related news, the United States, with only five per cent of the world's population, has approximately 25 per cent of the world's prison population. Something is deeply wrong with a society that jails so many of its citizens. In part, turning punishment for crime into a for-profit system encourages the imprisonment of the poor to serve as a source of cheap labour and large profits for prison owners. Privatization also ensures that any human-rights abuses that occur will be more difficult to discover and abolish, as the acts of private individuals are less subject to oversight and regulation than the acts of states.

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At 12:21 AM, Blogger school for the girls said...

It is so sad to spend such along time in prison.
I wish the criminal people had another way of paying for their crimes so that they can change for better.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger Sempringham said...

Those are interesting statistics (i.e., 25 percent of the world's imprisoned). And the privatization of prisons, as the privatization of most inherently governmental functions, is a predictable disaster.

As a resident of Chicago, though, I wonder if there is not a relationship between the higher prison populations and the lower crime rates.

What is the purpose of prison? Punishment? Rehabilitation? Protecting the population? All or none of the above?

At 9:12 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

I don't believe there is a direct correlation. Perhaps if justice were part of our judicial system it might be.

I think we have selective prosecution, selective imprisonment, and racially-delineated "crime." Thus, we punish the use of powder cocaine, which is the drug of affluent whites, far less harshly than rock cocaine, which is the drug of poor blacks; or meth, which is the drug of poor whites.

Prison is supposed to punish and rehabilitate, but in fact there is no system in place for rehabilitation. And because we fail to distinguish prisoners who are a danger to society from prisoners who are mainly a danger to themselves, we allow serial rapists and psychopathic murderers parole, but jail people who are guilty of recreational drug use for excessive lengths of time. In fact, the system favours psychopaths over petty criminals and the mentally deficient and insane. Sad, really.

At 12:26 AM, Blogger softspeech82 said...

Alex is a good kid who spent a small period of time in the worst of company. Fear is what aloud him to cooperate. Jean-piere is a twisted individual. I miss my cousin.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Clarence said...

Dan was my best friend, how can a couple assholes even have such a thought

At 12:16 AM, Blogger Clarence said...

Dan was my best friend how can anyone even have such a thought, i would like to know the exact full story from top to bottom

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Nathalie Jean said...

Alex isn't an asshole. He doesn't deserve 20 years in prison for 2nd degree murder. He's not guilty of murder.


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