Alan Prendergast's "Playing With Fire" is very disturbing. It portrays the judicial system with a "hang 'em high" approach, which I think is fitting. However, the quote from Patryce Engel that "previous conduct by anyone, whether a juvenile or an adult, is never considered in filing charges" is a bunch of bovine fecal matter, and is purely wrong. The first thing an arresting officer does is look for priors, and anyone who thinks priors have no play on the outcome of a court case has never been arrested for habitual traffic offenses or DUI.
In my humble opinion, her quote is no more than an attempt to save face at the end of a blatantly wrong decision on the part of the courts, and yet one more bald-faced lie by yet one more puppet.
I'm sick of it and I'm ready to puke my guts out. It seems as if every Colorado law-enforcement office is full of people who care absolutely nothing about the facts and only care about generating revenue through fines and fees. It looks like Carol Chambers is doing the same thing to young children who are probably emotionally devastated by the damage they caused, and whose parents are going to be financially broken by this process. What has happened to common sense and taking each case one at a time, and not making blanket laws that can ruin a young child's life?
Vote these morons out, and let's return some sanity to these offices.
I saw the article in Westword; well done. Investigators are trained interrogators who will always seek a "confession" to avoid having to do the tedious work of true investigating. They can interpret nervousness as guilt and an eagerness to help as a confession. They automatically have the trust of youths because parents set them up as authority figures and "good guys." And at the direction of the DA, they will make a case for the worst scenario rather than what their experience and good judgment tells them.
Really, how tough is it to get a scared eleven-year-old to agree with you? Carol Chambers is a crusader trying to make the world a perfect place by putting imperfect people away. How else is an eleven-year-old boy charged with felony arson? How else does an eighteen-year-old boy in a drunk-driving accident get charged with two counts of attempted murder? We have only a rational judiciary and citizen juries to protect us from overzealous public servants like Chambers. (Ambitious for higher office?) Her administration of the district attorney's office is a horrible joke, like Steve Martin's punchline "death penalty for parking tickets." We need to be ever-vigilant about whom we elect to the judiciary, and we need to impart our common sense as citizens when it comes our turn to serve on a jury.
Thanks for the four-alarm wake-up call; I'm curious to hear about other cases of overcharging by the DA's office.
Name withheld on request
Editor's note: For additional comments on "Playing With Fire," go to latestwordblog.com.
Alan Prendergast's article on the battle fought by locals against the U.S. Army's apparent intention to expand their operations (and land acquisition) in the Piñon Canyon area was extremely well-written and informative. Analogous to sharks who have to keep in motion to survive, bureaucracies (like the Army) have to keep acquiring to maintain the illusion of being viable — whether it be acquiring more staff, more office space or, in this case, more land, regardless if such acquisition translates into more efficiency and effectiveness. When an Army official says they will be doing more "in-sourcing" to assess possible damage to sensitive sites and wildlife habitat (as opposed to an independent entity, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), the handwriting is on the wall: The Army is determined to expand, come hell or high water.