Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 15, 2003

Gat's Life

Shoot to thrill:Regarding David Holthouse's "Justin Got His Gat," in the May 8 issue:

This kid got what he deserved and in no way should he receive any sympathy. This has nothing to do with him glorifying some media-hyped rap culture, but with lost white kids who can't stick up for themselves. Instead, they sit on weapons and envision what they would do if pushed to the limit. Then one day they reach their breaking point and act on these fantasies -- see Columbine.

This kid didn't have a gun for pleasure; he wanted to feel hardcore. Well, now he got what he earned, and has no right to bitch about it. I'm glad he got seven years. I'm glad his privileged lifestyle failed him. Any other kid from north of 23rd Avenue would have gotten the same, probably worse. You do the crime....

Anthony James
Denver

No justice:Deputy District Attorney Diane Balkin and Denver District Court Judge Morris Hoffman are prime examples of why I have come to distrust and detest the state's judicial system. How sad that the Green family fell for Balkin's false offer to beseech the judge for a "minimum" sentence of five years. (That's ridiculous in itself, considering that child murderers and other violent criminals have received lesser sentences.) It appears this self-righteous harridan has an ax to grind. And I would have to question her ethics.

I believe that Judge Hoffman's assertion that he "forgot" the terms of the Green family's plea bargain is total crap. And his "loose grasp of facts," as David Holthouse put it, is more than disturbing -- it is positively alarming! This judge appears to be exactly the sort who would attempt to put the screws to someone like Justin Green.

Certainly Mr.Green's actions merited some kind of punishment. But it appears his greatest "crime" was to be a good-looking, young and smart white male whose parents had money.

Jan Johnson
via the Internet

Classical gas:If Justin Green has any hopes of being a teacher when he leaves prison, he should start redeeming himself now instead of being completely self-absorbed in his "prison classics." Seven years is a long time to do nothing but think, be pissed off and read in a four-wall cell. Justin could use his experience to teach junior high and high school kids personal responsibility.

Now, if he wants to be an artist when he grows up, then he is heading in the right direction and will probably be famous one day for nothing else but his shitty attitude, selfish behavior and irresponsibility.

Botas
Boulder

Not a bad enough rap: After reading David Holthouse's "Justin Got His Gat," I had a few things I needed to get off my mind. First, I am so sick and tired of hearing about how society's offenders displace blame and continually find ways to not take responsibility for their actions.

Justin, you meant to shoot at the house and the attendees of that party, and you didn't care what the repercussions were until you were busy dumping the evidence in that lake. As a Hispanic American, I also take exception to those "friends" who informed you that you would receive a "tap on the wrists" because you're white. This proves the perception of our justice system and society's inequality. I hope that many of my fellow Hispanic/African-American citizens read Mr. Holthouse's article and realize that the pendulum sometimes swings slightly the other way -- as they often don't think it does. This person had every single opportunity that most Hispanic/African-Americans can't get or would die trying to get in this country. Justin, you messed up your own life because you thought you had to prove your manhood by shooting off your gun and your mouth. You have 100 percent control of your life and the decisions that you make. This means that you don't use drugs and alcohol irresponsibly, you don't blame rap or any other type of music, and you don't use some sort of "neurotic" inefficiency as an excuse for your lack of intelligence. Your IQ isn't good enough if you don't use common sense. This proves that if you mess with guns, drugs and alcohol, you suffer the consequences. You did the crime, now do the time.

Unlike Justin Green, I had a bad childhood, a time of disillusionment in my life, but you don't see me going around trying to pop a cap in everybody because I wasn't loved enough. And I never felt I needed to prove something to those who were trying to oppress me by doing something more outrageous than going to school, earning a degree, a job, a house, etc. Working hard is how you earn respect, to take a page from the elders.

My only regret is that those going down the same pathway as Justin will not read this. "Those who do not learn or remember the past are condemned to repeat it," to paraphrase a great author. I think Justin is well on his way to doing exactly this: forgetting his crime by substituting excuses to justify it. Unless an epiphany enters his deranged cranium, he will continue to whine like a silver-spoon-fed baby in that jail cell that I'm paying my hard-earned taxes for. Unless he becomes a man and takes responsibility for his own actions. It's up to him to disprove my perception without the use of violence, and with the greater power of knowledge. Only then will he earn the respect of his peers.

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