Sometimes our criminal justice system isn’t rehabilitative enough. Sometimes punitive justice doesn’t work. Colorado criminal defense attorneys fight hard for the rights of the accused, and sometimes that battle goes on outside the courtroom, to ensure that those who are guilty are properly rehabilitated, rather than simply punished and taught to be better criminals before being unleashed back upon the world.
On November 25, 2011, a 21-year-old man who was on probation was arrested again, this time as a consequence of a burglary in which he allegedly shot and killed an 87-year-old former deacon.
Marcus Smith was already serving probation for second-degree burglary when police say he broke into the home of Kathryn “Kit” Grazioli, and during the course of robbing her house, shot her and left her body burning. All of the details of the crime have not been released, but from what information is available, it would seem that police have at least Smith’s fingerprints.
These sorts of felony crimes are shocking and tragic, perhaps made all the moreso in Colorado, where criminal law attorneys have had their hands full this year, with 26 homicides, up from 2010’s total of 24, and still a month to go. It really does make one wonder, however, whether our criminal justice system is working the way it should. It’s not proper to immediately assume Smith is guilty before he has a trial before his peers, but if he is found to be guilty of this crime, one must wonder how he ended up back on the streets, on probation, rather than in prison to begin with.
One could argue that Smith’s lawyer must have been top-notch, but even still, perhaps we need to take a closer look at how our system is or is not working, to avoid more dangerous criminals being put on probation rather than in jail.