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December 12, 2003
The Definition of Insanity, Part II

This community still has learned nothing about violent repeat offenders:

A 25-year-old Anoka man was sentenced to 27 years in prison this morning for murdering a Minneapolis cab driver last August. Salvador Anthony Pacheco had pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder for shooting Mohamed Ahmed Salah in his Red & White cab early in the morning of Aug. 8.

27 years for shooting Salah in the back of the head while Salah was driving his cab. Even if Pacheco serves his entire sentence behind bars, he will get out at age 52, shockingly similar to another violent offender who just reoffended: Alfonso Rodriguez. And if you think I'm stretching the point, what do you think Pacheco was doing a couple of months before blowing Salah's brains out?

Two months prior to the shooting, Pacheco was released from prison after completing a sentence for a gun-related offense in Washington County.

Why is this man not going to prison for the rest of his life? Two months after being released from prison on a previous gun-related offense, Pacheco killed a man who just wanted to work hard and earn some money for his family. Twenty-seven years from now, Pacheco will get out, and I guess we'll have to wait and see how many days he'll take off before he gets back to shooting people again.

After Alfonso Rodriguez' background came to light in the media scrutiny surrounding the disappearance of Dru Sjodin, we all wondered how a man convicted of three rapes, two kidnapping attempts, and assaulting a woman with a knife could ever have been allowed out of prison to escalate his career into probable murder. Bureaucrats involved in Rodriguez's release without an attempt to commit him to a mental institution have received, justly, a great deal of public scorn. Will the same people express the same scorn for the weak and dangerous sentence given to Pacheco?

We have no obligation to release people who have proven their danger to society through repeated sexual assaults and murder. It has nothing to do with rehabilitation or retribution, either; the only issue at hand is public safety. We have an obligation to the Mohammed Salahs and Dru Sjodins to have the freedom to work and relax in public without us populating the area with people who have proven to be human predators looking for human prey.

Rodriguez should have been locked away for life; instead, Dru Sjodin and her family are paying the price for our lack of resolve and our sacrifice of public safety. Pacheco should have been given a life sentence yesterday. Whose family will be asked to sacrifice their daughter or husband on his release? What purpose do you suppose that sacrifice will serve, and does anyone really think that purpose will comfort the family of the victim?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 12, 2003 9:36 PM

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