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How much power should judges have?

To the editor:

I am writing this letter because I wonder just how much power our judges have.

I got a DWI awhile back. When I went into the courtroom for the first time to make my plea, the judge refused my plea of guilty. He hollered at me that I would need a lawyer. He got real upset with me and had the court appoint me a lawyer.

Time went along until my next court appearance. I got very sick and ended up in three different hospitals in three months, not even knowing if I was even coming home. When I did return home, I had an appointed lawyer who did nothing on my behalf.

I’m on oxygen and different pills, so they sentenced me to six months of house arrest at $140 a week. I know people who have done much worse and got less [punishment].

I would like to know, and I believe others would also, when is a person capable of making their own decisions regarding their rights? It’s not fair; because we all pay.