Did the Byron Smith jury consider what Smith felt, in real time, when he came face-to-face with the people who invaded his home on Thanksgiving Day 2012? Since that date, all of us have had ample time to think about what happened and how it could have been handled differently. But when someone is breaking into your home, you simply don’t have hours, weeks, months or more than a year to decide how to react.

I’m sorry about what happened to these teenagers and sympathize with their families. When a person goes out looking for trouble, he or she should not be surprised if they find it. Sometimes well-laid plans can boomerang on you. Smith does not deserve a life sentence in this case.

Mike Hyduke, Minneapolis

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A more appropriate sentence for Smith would have been working with troubled teens so he truly understands the many reasons why good kids can go bad and how mentoring and guidance can turn them around. Instead, our judicial system just “murdered” the third victim in this horrific tragedy.

Craig Neils, Clitherall, Minn.