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Letter: Why all the suspended sentences?

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I would like to raise an issue that I, and many citizens of Mathews County, have wondered about for some time:

In the Feb. 13 edition of the Gazette-Journal, there are nine cases from the Mathews General District Court docket. Of those nine cases, six indicate jail time imposed, but with most of the days suspended. For example, three of those convicted were sentenced to 60 days in jail with 56 or 57 days suspended.

In another case, the convicted person was sentenced to six months with five months suspended, and another conviction resulted in 12 months jail time with 11 months suspended. Two of the cases shown were nolle prossed. Nolle prossed means the prosecutor will proceed no further, even though there is some legal action that has led the case to the court. The final case was dismissed entirely.

In looking at the Gloucester General District Court, this same thing is indicated with almost all convictions carrying sentences of one year or less with most o...

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