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30 days? It was too little

SHARE 30 days? It was too little

It is unfortunate that Mr. Riggs and the majority of respondents to the Deseret News Online Edition "Quick Poll: Should Paul Wayment have been sentenced to 30 days in jail?" fail to see the most basic truth of this sad incident.

A defenseless child lost his life due to the negligence of his father. His father either knew or should have known better. Such an act of negligence of punishable by law and, as the facts of the case support the elements of the crime, it must be prosecuted.

All peripheral aspects of the case, from the deserved anguish suffered by the suspect to the media "frenzy" surrounding the case that may have added to his "suffering," are irrelevant. The only punishment that should have been recognized by the court is that which it metes out. Nothing else matters.

The only victim in this case is the child that lost his life. The only aspect of the criminal justice system that failed is in that of sentencing: to think that 30 days of Paul Wayment's life, spent aimlessly in the Summit County Jail, is somehow sufficient punishment, to think that Gage's life was worth only 30 days, is insulting and sends a scary message to the people of Utah, to the other irresponsible parents out there (and there are many).

It tells them all that even if you make the ultimate mistake in your scattered lives and your child loses his life, you can expect a simple 30 days in jail and be done with it.

Scott Buchanan

Park City