Readers React: A repeat offender, a Trump voter, Lyft drivers: They’re not getting readers’ sympathy

Inmates wait as they are moved through the custody line area at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles on May 13.
( Los Angeles Times)

Our letter writers tend to be a generous bunch, often offering their empathy or even donations to the subjects of articles who have hit hard times. But like anyone else, they have their limits — and they’ve been hitting those limits a lot lately.

Most recently, in response to an article on the poor jail conditions endured by a man who had been in and out of incarceration most of his life, plenty of unsympathetic readers suggested that the real problem was people who re-offend. Not one expressed much concern about the treatment of inmates.

This actually fits with a pattern lately, with articles on homeless ride-share drivers and a Trump voter whose wife was deported drawing similar reactions.

Mike Lockridge of Mission Viejo believes prison ought to be a terrible place to go:


I sympathize with and support anyone who made a mistake in life and tries to become a productive citizen. However, anyone who has been to prison numerous times and complains about the conditions does not deserve compassion.

We all have choices to make in life, and some habitual criminals have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars that could have funded higher education, job training and other worthy endeavors. Instead, they have ruined lives or even taken the lives of innocent people.

In my opinion, if some jails or prisons are too crowded, we should build more of them, providing jobs for construction workers, guards and others. I am tired of reading about weight rooms, libraries and recreation facilities for some habitual criminals who will never contribute in a positive way to society.

Prisons are supposed to be a bad place to go.


Lori Coy of Rancho Cucamonga has some advice for a re-offender:

Maybe poor Cody Garland — who has “spent much of his life behind bars” and who has “served at eight different California prisons” and who is not happy with his “hardest stint” at the Sacramento County jail — should try a new approach to life.

Here’s my suggestion: Don’t break our laws.

Los Angeles resident Paula Del worries about the victims of crime:

So, Garland started his career in crime at age 10 by stealing a car, and now, at age 35, after spending most of his life behind bars for many other convictions, he is disappointed with his lodgings.

Garland is getting substandard medical and psychological care? So are millions of other Americans who happen not to have committed car theft, burglary or identity theft.

In fact, I don’t think it would be far-fetched to imagine that the identity theft, one of the numerous crimes which Garland has committed, has caused some of his victims to have to leave their own glaucoma untreated.

When this man says that a spell in solitary caused him to hear voices, all I can say is I hope the voices he heard were those of his victims over the last 25 years.


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