Is Nevada really tough on crime? | NevadaAppeal.com

Is Nevada really tough on crime?

Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

When William Castillo is put to death on Oct. 15 in Carson City, it will be just punishment for the killing of a retired school teacher.

But if it serves as a deterrent to other would-be murderers, so much the better. To be successful in controlling crime, we must make it known that in Nevada criminals receive just punishment for their actions.

But can our state really make that claim? Sure, a murderer is being put to death, but one needn’t look far to find far different messages.

We’re letting prisoners out of jail early because we don’t have the space to make them serve out their punishments.

On Monday, a person who endangered lives while shooting out windows in Carson City pleaded guilty to merely one gross misdemeanor. You may remember the incident – it came right before the nation’s attention focused on the city prior to the first presidential forum and left the community temporarily blighted. He also allegedly shot a woman’s window out while she was stopped at an intersection.

Prosecutors claim the lack of eyewitnesses hampered their case, and that firearms charges weren’t possible because a BB gun wouldn’t qualify under the law.

In Lyon County, the D.A. offered a plea deal to a man who allegedly repeatedly raped two young girls over two years, even though there was no lack of evidence. He’s now awaiting sentencing on a charge of attempted lewdness with a child.

Maybe the truth is that in Nevada, our Legislature, our laws and our prosecutors aren’t really that tough on crime.

Let’s just hope would-be criminals don’t get wind of that.