Does the punishment fit the crime?

By Adriana Pinon
Staff Attorney

The October 25th shooting of two Guatemalan immigrants by a DPS sharpshooter triggered a firestorm of criticism from various organizations and public officials.  For the past month, the public has been trying to understand the details of this tragedy and whether the policy that allowed it should be revised.  This piece, written by Geoffrey A. Hoffman, an Associate Professor at the University of Houston  Law Center, analyzes the legality of the shooting astutely and accessibly.

One thought on “Does the punishment fit the crime?”

  1. Topic does not fit the crime?
    I am concerned about Homeland Security’s involvement in social media. Let me give you a quick synopsis of the problem. There was a young man in Texas that was sorting through chat rooms and came in contact with a young woman from Bismarck North Dakota and in conversations with her online and a couple phone calls she was telling him that she was going to run away from home because her grandfather was going to beat her. In the conversations the young man from Texas who is in his “40s”, thought he was communicating with a girl that was an adult but she was only seventeen.
    Next thing that happened was Homeland Land Security agents from North Dakota showed up at the young man’s door. They came in looks through his computer for child porn and didn’t find any but later arrested the young man. They put an ankle bracelet on him and he was assigned a court date in Bismarck North Dakota. He was then tried and convicted of ” Luring and underage child across state lines”. He has been sentence to a minimum of ten years in Federal Prison. He is now serving his sentence in a Federal Prison in Fort-worth TX

    These are my concerns:
    1. What does Homeland Security have to do with this social media event? Why not the FBI or local authorities.
    2. 10 years in federal prison for being in social media chat room communicating with a young woman who said in court that she claimed to be 18 but wasn’t. To me this is an over reach by the Federal Government.
    3. The first time the young man from Texas saw this young woman was in court. When a person is on line do they really know who they are talking to?
    4. Chat rooms and Social media have brought certain problems to our worlds but ten years in prison is not the answer?
    Thanks for reading my email! If you have any further questions contact:
    Neil Fulton
    Federal Public Defender
    William D. Schmidt ( ND Bar ID#3339)
    First Assistant Public Defender
    Facsimile 701-250-4498

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