I selected the yes side of this debate while straddling the fence on the topic. Yes I believe every person that breaks the law should face the prospect of doing hard time. Just knowing you can be placed in the slammer is a perfect deterrent. I also embrace the theory of the system being selective on just who goes in or not. As a registered south Florida voter I’ve been selected many times to serve on a jury. The privilege has taught me how the system functions. A judge normally studies a case and if a person’s convicted, he decides if nay or yea regarding jail time. Community service, house arrest and stiff fines are some of the options. Offering carte-blanches to non-violent criminals would be anomalous. For example, Medicare fraud,stolen identity cases and the like are considered non-violent, should individuals caught and convicted of these crimes be exempt from jail? In my opinion any blatant disregard of the law merits jail time. Each case is different, be it a shoplifter, forger or con-artist, the law must also take into account how many times a person breaks the law. The justice system uses crime labels, such as petty, misdemeanor, felony, first or second degree this or that. The victims are sometimes frustrated when a convicted individual’s let off easy. Imagine what would happen if the No’s of this debate get their way. Non-violent crime would sky rocket. It’s bad enough we have hard core slime roaming our streets today committing all sorts of violent crimes. We don’t need another bad example for the next generation. I, like everybody else, want fair justice for all but to coddle lawbreakers is a mistake. The label “non-violent crimes” cannot be used to let perpetrators off with a slap on the wrist, some deserve much more. When a retiree’s conned out of his life savings he demands justice not excuses. With the crime rate going up in my area and jails packed to capacity, I don’t have the answer for this but I do know crime is crime no matter how small. Laws were created to protect us why mess with a good thing?