Sunday, May 4, 2008

Further punishment needed?

Every so often, we see stories about people who are found by the authorities decades after they escaped or walked away from prison or a halfway house. The latest figure in one of these cases is 53-year-old Susan LeFevre, shown above with her husband and two of her children, and in 1970s prison mug shots. There's no sugar-coating what landed LeFevre, now using the name Marie Walsh, in a Detroit prison in 1975. She was convicted and sentenced to 10 to 20 years behind bars as a key figure in a major heroin-distribution operation. LeFevre fled prison less than a year later and disappeared, only to be found recently living with her husband and three children in Southern California. It appears LeFevre left her criminal past behind when she escaped from prison, but authorities are now in the process of seeking her extradition to Michigan to face escape charges and, possibly, the rest of her drug sentence. The question is, should a law-abiding 53-year-old woman go back behind bars for something she did as a teenager? I think that perhaps 32 years of constantly looking over her shoulder, always worrying about behind found out, was punishment enough. Her husband, Alan Walsh, had this to say: "She has raised three beautiful children and worked hard to build a good life for them in this community. Surely society is better off having Marie contribute to the betterment of her community than having to cost Michigan taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to lock up a person who obviously poses no threat to anyone." That's a pretty good argument.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you tell the families of the people whom she helped to hook on drugs that her comfortable living as a suburban matron was punishment enough.

She took the risk, she was convicted by a jury of her peers, and then she ran from her punishment. You think because she's not committed any additional crimes, she should be let off the hook? Is that really justice?

May 5, 2008 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What passes for justice these days is laughable by any standard. But Don't throw her in jail -- make her work in an anti-drug program.

May 5, 2008 at 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't 'escaping from prison' a crime also?

May 5, 2008 at 8:21 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home