By JoAnne Page, CEO, The Fortune Society
Re “Prosecutor Won’t Seek Prison for Ex-Officer Found Guilty in Killing” (news article, March 24):
Sentencing Peter Liang to prison would be wrong. Ken Thompson, the Brooklyn district attorney, should be commended for resisting the pressure to punish Mr. Liang as “compensation” for the system’s failure to achieve justice in cases like the death of Eric Garner.
But the decision by Mr. Thompson should come as no surprise. He has demonstrated a commitment to justice and community safety rather than focusing solely on punishment.
Specifically, his Conviction Review Unit has achieved the release of numerous wrongly convicted people who have served decades in prison.
Mr. Thompson is also leading the way by refusing to prosecute low-level marijuana offenses and letting people clear up old warrants.
The impact of these policies is significant, particularly for black and Latino youths who will not have to live with the lifelong barriers that accompany a criminal record and whose freedom will allow them to complete their education, find employment or support a family.
Mr. Thompson is giving people, including Peter Liang, a real chance to rebuild their lives while restoring faith in our justice system.
Read the original letter to the editor on the New York Times.