This letter is in response to the recent column by Stephanie Grace about sentencing Ray Nagin. I could not disagree with her more regarding Nagin. It seems as though the more leniency we show for crimes committed, the more prevalent the crimes become. I was raised that we must always consider the repercussions of any particular act, legally or not legally, that we might consider doing and how those actions will affect us and everyone close to us and everyone we know.

We all make choices in our lives. Today everyone wants to portray themselves as a victim, except the true victims. What about Nagin’s individual businesses and families, his own children and wife that have suffered dire consequences because of Nagin’s actions. He was arrogant most of the time, abused his powers and made a racial statement that everyone ignored — he wanted a “chocolate city.” What would happen if Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he wanted a “vanilla city?” You must consider the change in Nagin after he became mayor. All his good intentions and political promises went down the drain with the waters of Hurricane Katrina. He made his choices; he must now pay the price for those choices. If we continue to feel sorry for everyone who makes poor decisions and judgments, what will happen to us, our families, our cities, our countries? Think before you act and think carefully before you cross the line between right and wrong. It is up to each of us, as individuals, to live our lives and conduct ourselves properly as a mother, father, child, business owner or an employee of a company, city, state, federal agency, etc. Nagin could have made a deal with the feds, but his arrogance got in the way because he truly believed that he could get away with what he did and displayed no show of sorrow, repentance, cooperation, etc. We will never know how many of us were truly negatively affected by Katrina. I, for one, had to move to another city. Please, no excuses from anyone should be accepted. Set an example for all the other criminals and maybe criminals out there. Justice should always prevail.

Lynne Marino

retired administrative assistant