The prosecutors for the state of Minnesota are asking the judge in the Derek Chauvin case to send him to prison for more than the 40 years

Why so long?

It’s because they want to punish him for a murder he most likely did not do intentionally.

Prisons should be to protect us from those who do bad things and may do bad things again. Sure, Chauvin did a terrible things, killed a person, but he will never again be a police officer, and he’ll never again be in a situation where he has the authority he had on May 25, 2020, where he ended up killing George Floyd.

So, why lock him up for years costing the taxpayers a lot of money?

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Sure, he needs to be punished, but there are scores of ways to punish him without keeping him in prison for what could be life.

The same is true for thousands of other men and women housed in our prisons. They made mistakes, and they must pay for that mistake.

But, if they are not a danger to others, as many are not, punish them with community service, and I don’t mean just picking up trash along our roads.

Many are professional people, or people with skills who could help our society in many ways, instead of rotting in a prison.

Oh, again, if there is any chance they’d keep on committing crimes, or are a danger to others, then lock ‘em up forever, or, at least, until they are rehabilitated.

Our entire judicial system needs to be studied and changed. Locking a person up for years, maybe life, is not always the answer.

Ted Storck, Morris, Minn., is a former Los Angeles police officer.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.