Letters to the Editor

From the week of August 8, 2003

Kobe Bryant will not receive a fair trial in Colorado. The reason will not be because of his descent; rather, it will be because of his current residence. That's right, he won't get a fair trial because he is from California. In fact, I would place his African-American ancestry at the bottom of the list, behind being from California and being a celebrity. All told, though, that's three strikes against the man from the beginning.

I know this is true from firsthand experience. I moved to Colorado in 1994 as part of a corporate relocation from San Francisco, settling in Longmont. While I lived there, I had neighbors turn me in to the police for maintaining my California registrations on my cars. I lived in Longmont for two and a half years and was finally so desperate to get out, I took a job in Los Angeles. To this day, I still prefer to be anywhere but in Colorado.

There is one thing that Bryant can be thankful for. He can be thankful he is not Cheyenne or Arapahoe. If he was, I would expect the good settlers of Eagle County and Colorado as a whole to dispense with the formality of a trial and merely slaughter Bryant, mutilate his body and string the body parts across the Denver Opera House like their ancestors did. And if I hear that the judge is named Chivington, or if I hear that members of the 3rd Colorado Regiment are hanging around, I may have cause to rethink even that.

Then again, Alferd Packer was from Colorado, wasn't he? Serving his fellow man since 1869.

Richard Scott
Pasadena, California

Tarnished Silverman: I had a lot more respect for Craig Silverman when he was a Denver prosecuting attorney. Now, as a legal analyst, he discusses how Kobe Bryant might even get his case dismissed if he finds enough "dirt" on his accuser. I thought Silverman possessed some professional virtue and a belief in our legal system and due process, rather than the use of malicious hearsay and rumors.

Craig, in case you don't remember this: Trials are to be conducted in a court of law and presented to an impartial jury that will review the facts of the case -- not all the pretrial publicity, hype and propaganda. You should know better, and I thought more of you!

Dennis Hammond

Love is all we need: Syndicated talk-radio host Tom Leykis says he revealed the name of the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of sexual assault because he doesn't believe you can have a fair trial where you know the name of one person and not the other. This was inappropriate in every way!

This woman and everyone like her could probably use our support right now. I will not turn on her and assume that she's lying. And another thing -- I refuse to be baited by the media's enthusiastic titillation of our cultural fascination with the sexual prowess of black men. I want this story to stop being portrayed as if it is about sex and lies: Rape is not sex. Rape is about power and control.

Ain't love what violence demands we spread, not persecution?

Wendi O'Neal
Takoma Park, Maryland

A Matter of Corpse

A body of work: It was interesting to read the July 31 Off Limits blurb about the Rocky Mountain News posting corpse photos of the Hussein brothers on its Web site. I don't suppose the News's office was flooded with cops from four metro agencies, as happened to me when I took corpse photos while working in the funeral industry in Denver several years ago. Aside from "violating" the dead, the big complaint was that I "added" to the scene by placing signs near the corpses with slogans such as, "Happy Halloween" and "Time's Up." I suppose that was way worse than the U.S. military shaving the corpses to make them look the way that suited their purpose best. I did it as an art project and admitted I was wrong to do it. Don't expect to hear that from anyone involved in these new "corpse-abuse photos."

In other news, can I add that although I live in New York State now, lately it feels like I still live in Denver. I read all the NYC papers daily, and thanks to Kobe Bryant, I am seeing nonstop quotes attributed to the Denver dailies. And it ain't like the scandal at the Air Force Academy, Columbine aftermath and the Ramseys don't pop up here and there, too. Denver really is getting bigger.

J.T. Colfax
Binghamton, New York

Don't Mess With Texas

Arms and the man: I am a staunch believer in the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense. I live in Texas but read the news and belong to Rick Stanley's e-mail list (Off Limits, July 24). The papers in Colorado are no different from those in most metropolitan areas: sickeningly limp-wristed. An armed citizenry that knows how to and when to use arms is essential if we are to keep this country free.

You people up there better wake up and support Stanley from the same bureaucracy that will step on your neck when you least expect it to. From a Texas point of view, it sounds like you have allowed too many tea-sippers to take over your state. The safety of the little valley could come to an end and people like Rick will keep you safe when the bulletproof-vested ninnies have thrown in the towel because of overtime disputes. For God's sake, get a grip on that judge -- that is, if there are any men left in what I used to consider a man's country.

I guess I will have to rethink my northern neighbors. I guess the commune just spread out. Love and peace, man; nice roach clip, dude. If that is all that is left, all I can say is: "Run, Rick, they are not worth the effort."

Fred Cummins
Freeport, Texas

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