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Blood on hands of public servants

DEAR EDITOR:

I believe wholeheartedly that our justice system should prioritize redemption and rehabilitation over incarceration.

Some people apparently don’t want to be rehabilitated, though, and are a clear and present danger to the community. Jail is made for such persons, and that is where they belong.

So, what was Gregory Barnhart doing on this side of a cell, let alone in a car? Furthermore, how — after he was already charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, and on parole — was he able to get into another vehicle, which he subsequently crashed and is charged with OVI?

And why, after all this, after having “been booked into Trumbull County Jail 15 times on DUI, burglary, weapons and drug charges, dating up until 2014,” was this individual given 12-15 years and, presumably, another opportunity for early release?

Another question: Why did some media not name the judge who gave Barnhart such a lenient sentence?

In fact, why not report names of every judge, court official, Mahoning / Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office employee, prison guard and administrator who allowed Barnhart to ever see this side of a cell at any point during his illustrious career as a professional public menace? Howard Mounts’ and Bradley Ronci’s blood is on their hands, too.

We deserve better. And, frankly, we have a responsibility to each other to hold irresponsible public officials accountable. The Barnharts of our world are bad, to be sure. But those who enable them are just as much a part of the problem.

An apology from these officials would be a fine start. Also, perhaps some of our local media could do a better job helping us hold public servants’ feet to the fire. That’s still a fundamental part of the job, last I checked.

DAN POMPILI

Youngstown

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