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Community service as punishment

To the Times of Ti: I read with interest the story concerning the sentencing of former Port Henry clerk Barbara Tesar for stealing from village receipts, $152,865. The minimum time of sentence served for the crime, seven and one third years will cost the taxpayers around $280,000. Given the cost of prison housing it doesnt seem to me, even though she paid back the stolen funds, that the sentence makes sense dollar-wise. What would make sense is that for her crime against the community that instead of prison Ms. Tesar be kept in her community and made to do free full time service to the community for seven and one third years. She could do many duties within the community, some examples might be to paint houses for the elderly, mow lawns, clean sidewalks, serve the poor in some capacity. If community service alone doesnt meet the need for vengeance than instead of a prison uniform insist she wear in public a red badge with a black T on it, labeling her a thief. Is this a novel idea or what? Just was thinking that it is worthy punishment for the criminal and less punishment on the purse of the taxpayer. And, too, she might just be a visible symbol to others reminding them that crime doesnt pay. Clay Wood Schroon Lake

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