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View from around the state: Bad behavior should be punished

— From the Journal Times

The saying “no good deed goes unpunished” was turned on its head recently in the Racine County lockup after the District Attorney’s office dropped about a dozen charges against an unruly inmate.

Bad deeds were about to go unpunished simply because transporting the unruly inmate who was allegedly spitting at guards, damaging property, kicking and causing problems being transported to court from the jail was too much of a hassle.

A decision to drop 13 charges against Luis Granados Jr., who is serving a two-year prison sentence for striking his then-8-year-old son and slamming him to the ground at a birthday party, was made by an assistant D.A. in December.

The idea that being a nuisance inmate and running amok has no consequences, of course, sets a bad precedent for the conduct of other inmates in the county jail.

So it wasn’t surprising that the revelation of the dropped charges stirred a furor after Milwaukee radio show host Mark Belling reported on it in January and began ripping on the Racine County DA’s office.

“My criticism is that this rewards the assaulting of the (corrections) officers and gives a child abuser the chance to be on the streets in five months,” Belling said at the time.

New District Attorney Tricia Hanson, who had not yet been sworn in when the decision to drop the charges was made, briefly defended the office’s decision, saying: “Every time we moved him it was difficult at best, so we just weighed the long-term risks of him acting out again over the value of going forward.”

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said he was “appalled” at the decision to drop the charges, urged the DA to reconsider, and said his staff would do their jobs and fulfill their obligations to transport prisoners.

Hanson quickly relented and said the DA’s office would refile the charges against Granados. “I am never afraid to admit a mistake and fortunately we can make this right for the victims in this case,” she said.

Earlier this month, 11 dismissed charges were revived in Racine County Circuit Court and Granados now faces charges that include four counts of battery by a prisoner, three counts of disorderly conduct and two counts of criminal damage to property.

He will be back in court on March 1. We hope he is on his best behavior.

To review: no kicking, no spitting, no damaging property. And, oh yeah, if and when you complete your sentence: No slamming 8-year-olds to the ground. You will get prosecuted for all of that.

Bad deeds get punished.

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