Maximum consequences

December 11, 2013 

LaTosha Cunningham was shocked this week when a judge sentenced her to 60 years in prison for the murder of Yoko Cullen. She was so overcome with emotion, she passed out in the courtroom -- the same reaction she had when she was charged with the murder.

It was evidence of prosecutor Brendan Kelly's comment: that Cunningham's moral compass is "fundamentally flawed."

No right-thinking person was shocked to see Judge Robert Haida hand down the maximum sentence. Given the brutal, inhumane way she and her accomplices abducted, beat and burned to death 85-year-old Cullen -- given the fact that Cunningham previously shot and robbed a woman who gave her a ride -- most people probably would have liked to see her get even more time in prison.

As Kelly said, Cunningham is beyond rehabilitation and should not be allowed back in the community. The good news is she effectively is getting a life sentence. If she lives that long she will be 97 when she is eligible for parole -- hopefully too old to do anyone else any harm.

In addition to protecting the public from Cunningham, we hope her harsh sentence and the 60-year sentence given to her accomplice DaQuan Barnes deters other would-be criminals. The message is loud and clear: People who commit violent crimes in St. Clair County will face harsh consequences for their actions.

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