A 16 year old girl, on trial in El Paso for drug smuggling, faces a possible sentence of 40 years in prison.
In a statement released last week, County Attorney José Rodríguez said his office was hoping the decision would deter the city’s ongoing problem with teenagers transporting drugs across the border.
“Proceeding under determinate sentencing statute in this case demonstrates that we will not tolerate these types of crimes, and should serve as a warning to those teens who might be tempted by the money being offered by the drug cartels,” Rodríguez said.
I think that the prospect of sending a 16 year old girl to prison for 40 years is appalling. Primarily – a long prison sentance does not equal rehabilitation. Secondarily – I don’t think the best way to deter others from following her path is to ruin her life.
It’s been shown that even the death penalty is not a deterrent. Economical and social factors are what push people into drug trafficking. We should not punish the person so much as look at why they’re doing it and finding proactive ways to fix it. This is typical of the US – deal with problems after they occur – rarely do we try to prevent them in the first place. This is evident by the amount of so-called ‘terrorists’. Most of them are angry with us for a reason. Maybe we should have carefully thought out foreign policy – I think we’ll end up burying fewer people that way. Just an idea.