To the editor:
I would like to express my extreme disappointment with the way the district attorney chose to prosecute, or rather to not prosecute, the animal cruelty case of Cem Basoflas. I don’t know all the details of Mr. Basoflas’ crimes, because many of them were not released to the general public, but based on what was reported and reading between the lines, I am inclined to believe that what Mr. Basoflas did is exactly the sort of deliberate and sadistic behavior for which the felony animal cruelty statute was created.
I appreciate the fact that our DA does not want to waste taxpayer dollars, but I heartily disagree that public safety is best served by whichever punishment is cheapest. One of the reasons for having a justice system at all is to see that justice is served, and in this case I feel strongly that justice demanded a much stronger punishment. Giving Mr. Basoflas what amounts to a slap on the wrist and deporting him, despite the fact that the legal framework exists to impose a real punishment, sends the message that this sort of thing is taken seriously in theory, but not in actual practice.
This is not the message that I, or many other members of the community, feel should be sent about deliberate and pointless animal cruelty. I hope the DA’s office never has to deal with one of these cases again, but if they do, I hope they reconsider which is more important: money or justice.