Cheating on an Exam (SAT) = Crime = Jail?! … No!

This has been throughout the news with a quick google search of "cheating SAT student(s) Great Neck" which is the location of where it happened.  In short, a handful of students paid another man to take their SAT college entrance exam for them and now the prosecuting attorney has filed criminal charges against the students who hired the test-taker as well as multiple counts against the test-taker himself.  

The most interesting part of this uproar to me is the type of comments that have been left to the article written by Scott Greenfield, "Jail not right for SAT cheating." These comments at the time of my post were by 3 anonymous people and one who identified himself.  And, I must say that I disagree with all of the comments, as they tend to miss the point and actually believe that labeling someone as a criminal, even with a misdemeanor, will somehow teach them all "not to cheat" and further "serve as an example for would-be test takers".

"Wrong answer! Putting these little pukes in jail for a year will make the next morally challenged punk think twice about doing the right thing. And, we may even raise a few kids with some character.  ~~Americantaxpayer

The above comment, posted by Americantaxpayer is what riled me enough to write this article.  This faceless, nameless, coward writes some incredibly inflammatory remarks with no data to back it up. Further, it is failed logic when one considers the entire criminal justice system as used in this country. 

Every day, I am in a courtroom dealing with cases ranging from misdemeanors to much more serious felonies.  And, I have yet to see data that supports the contention that making an example of someone will serve as notice to others not to engage in allegedly criminal behavior.  Take for instance, DWI prosecutions… everyone has seen the headline where a repeat DWI offender receives decades in prison for subsequent offenses, yet we still have hundreds of people making the choice to get behind the wheel when they are allegedly intoxicated.

So, Americantaxpayer, you are wrong! You fail to understand the system and actually believe that putting person X in jail is tantamount to preventing person Y from committing an offense.  This is an issue that reflects on parenting, ethics, etc. but it is a complete waste of the already strained state government budgets to incarcerate someone for cheating on a test or more accurately from hiring someone to cheat on a test… 

To close, I’m not going to get into the merits of the prosecution of any of these or similarly situated persons who have ever cheated on an exam, but jail, probation, and criminal prosecution is not the answer.  The administrators of the SAT exam and others like them should create better security measures. After all, a man was able to take an exam for a woman?