A killer who got off easy

RE: “Visions, values, and tragedy” [Special Focus, July 17]:

The main story was well written and seems well researched; it was informative and well done. Thanks for writing it.

But the story about Meg McCarthy, the wife of Richard Gagnon, is asking for too much sympathy/empathy for the killer. She whines about her husband serving 17 years. He got off easy from what I've seen in this country. The wife's story could have been left out.

The next story, from the point of view of the killer, was distressing to me. I felt as though I was being implored to have sympathy/empathy for a killer who got, as I mentioned, a light sentence.

He did a murder that might have been premeditated. He went to work with a gun!

He got off with a relatively light sentence.

He went there to kill the man and got off with 17 years.

I'm not crying for the murderer and his family.

He could have walked away from his job. He should have got longer in jail.

I think I heard a bit of the “Twinkie defense” in the reading. He's got all excuses. And people seem to want to buy his excuses [Letters, July 24].

My bottom line is that he got off easy, and that that is an insult to the family and an insult to the life of the man he killed.

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