It's so outrageous that we live in a culture that protects criminals over victims. Does the criminal have "rights" even during the commission of a crime? ("Store owner who shot alleged thief denied work release," Oct. 26). Where did this type of thinking come from? Has common sense completely disappeared from modern society?

Can't law-abiding citizens and businessmen protect their homes, families and workplace against criminal activity? A while back we had a father and son viciously gunned down in a Lamont store they owned, but that's OK as long as no criminal was harmed. The current laws we have now create a soft landing and overtly encourage criminal activity.

I feel anyone engaged in criminal activity deserves whatever consequences comes his way during the commission of a crime. But, sadly, in this day and age, we have the store owner victim doing jail time and ordered by the judge to pay restitution to the perpetrator. No charges were filed against the criminal.

— Nora Virrey, Bakersfield