Looking back at the week in news

In this case, justice proves to be a terror to evildoers

With Katlyn Marin’s sentencing on Friday, justice has been done.

Marin, who was convicted in August of second-degree murder, will serve 45 years-to-life in prison for the death of her 3-year-old daughter Brielle E. Gage in November 2014.

Judge Charles Temple quoted Proverbs 21:15 during her final appearance in his courtroom saying "When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."

The judge’s feeling concludes a difficult story for Brielle’s family and every social worker and police officer involved in this tragic case. But the greater question is why Marin, a mother of five, was allowed to continue to maintain custody despite as many as 10 separate investigations into her?

Records show the Division for Children Youth & Families (DCYF) had looked into her abusive relationship with her offspring over several years, but always the children would return to her care.

An interim report and commission focused on child abuse has helped DCYF improve its services since the death of Brielle.

Sadly, it’s not enough and a poor reflection on the priorities of state leaders, and ultimately the voters who put them in charge, when the most vulnerable residents cannot get the safety they desperately require because of fatigued, short-staffed state agencies making do with slash-and-burn budgets. Even accepting the fact that DCYF is underfunded, it’s hard to fathom how the social workers failed Brielle so badly. It’s hard to understand how unaccountable DCYF was and remains.

Brielle got justice on Friday. It’s time for the rest of us to do make sure there’s justice for every child in the state.

Treating addiction at all level is the right thing to do here

Good news in the ongoing battle against opioid addition came this week when it was announced that Congress had passed $1 billion in funding – and that some of that money would be coming to New Hampshire.

The 21st Century Cures Act will be taken up by the U.S. Senate next week, but how could it be anything but a slam dunk? Considering the opioid crisis confronting America, senators seemingly have no choice but to throw their full support behind the bill.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat and co-founder of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, said the money will be targeted to districts that have a severe crisis.

Kuster said New Hampshire had about 1,000 treatment beds during the 1980s – a number that has been reduced over the years to around 200.

Keystone Hall in Nashua has 54 beds for treatment, according to officials, and individuals can face a waiting list as long as six weeks.

Isn’t a one-day wait too long for an addict seeking treatment?

Drug addiction isn’t a crime, it’s an illness. Any funding that would help treat or even eliminate such an illness is a worthwhile investment for friends and neighbors in our caring society.