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Roger Pulvers’ comparison with the United States — in his July 12 article, “Crimes happen, but are the criminals ‘one of us’ or ‘one of them?’” — looked like more of an apple-to-plum comparison. The Australian and Japanese societies are both offshoots of European socialism. The U.S. is not socialist, although the present administration is trying to change that. The U.S. is a republic and, yes, I get the parallels to Rome. But we’re talking about a country with a population of over 325 million, while Japan is the size of California (and has less than 40 percent of America’s population).

Of the 2.3 million prisoners in federal, state and local jails, 47 percent are there for nonviolent crimes. If anything, this large prison population shows that if individuals are going to commit a crime, they are not going to get away with it.

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