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Vandals affected the whole community

October 12, 2008
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

I was reading the Marshall Independent and read about person/persons that vandalized numerous headstones at the cemetery in Marshall.

I'm very disgusted with the choice that the person or persons made. After reading that I felt that anyone that does something that selfish and disrespectful needs to be punished to the fullest. Then after my emotions calmed down and I use my head, I came to the conclusion that maybe that's not the best way to teach that/those people a lesson.

Maybe using the approach of restorative justice is a better way of dealing with this type of crime. With restorative justice the offender will sit in a circle and apologize to the victims plus the people in the community. Maybe that will make them realize that their choice to vandalize headstones didn't just affect a couple of people, it affected the community. Restorative justice is just what Lyon and surrounding counties needs to get offenders to "see the light." Not just the crime and punishment; they will get to see everything and everyone they affected.

I believe if Lyon County chose to use restorative justice that we would be having people think before they act.

Their choices affected a lot of people, even those that aren't directly connected to the victims. Maybe they could also be given the responsibility to take care of the cemetery grounds for a season. Not as a punishment but as a learning experience. Maybe they can see the people that come to the cemetery to show love and respect to those buried there.

A cemetery is a place of final rest, it should be respected!

Brooke Maxwell




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