Commentary

Letters to the Editor

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Guilty as Charged

Lying Lisl: Enough is enough! I have read with frustration your newspaper's articles (most recently, Juliet Wittman's July 6 "A Question of Intent"), and the subsequent letters to the editor that support the innocence of Lisl Auman. She is guilty of the crime and is where she needs to be. I encourage your readers to take the time to read the Colorado state statutes; then they will clearly see that justice has prevailed. At least Lisl Auman's family can visit her in prison; that is more than you can say for Anna and Hayley VanderJagt, who lost husband and father. Has anyone ever thought about what they must endure for the rest of their lives?

Name withheld on request

You have the right to remain violent: I would like to concur with the letter written by Patrick Murphy titled "Murder, She Wrote." The individual involved in the Safeway killing was not prosecuted because the man who was killed was not a cop. On the other hand, Lisl Auman was charged and convicted of felony murder because the man who was killed in her situation was.

There is an unspoken yet predictable philosophy of criminal justice that prevails at the DPD and the Denver District Attorney's Office. It goes as follows: A police officer's life has much more value than a citizen's does. If a citizen is killed by a police officer, then that police officer will be exonerated. If a citizen kills a police officer, then someone will "go down"; someone will pay, even if that someone had little to do with the killing.

I suppose that the illustrious officers who make up the Denver Police Department never had poor judgment or hung out with the wrong crowd when they were 21. No, not the holier-than-thou police. They can never do any wrong. I've wondered how the police and District Attorney Ritter can sleep at night knowing that they sent an innocent young woman to prison. I suspect that they sleep just fine, though. After all, a police officer's life is worth more than a citizen's, and someone had to pay. In their minds, whether or not Lisl is responsible for the killing is beside the point.
Trish Robertson
via the Internet


Crime Slays

Men in uniform: Recently an anonymous police officer wrote to Westword, stating that he had resigned from his position because he did not agree with the way the Columbine massacre had been handled (Letters, July 20).

Whoever this officer is, he has my utmost respect. There are few people in law enforcement -- or in the human race in general, for that matter-- who have the guts to stand up for what they believe in.

We have seen so much negative publicity regarding the police lately. Is it any surprise that the police frequently act like cowards and/or criminals themselves? Most cops have a chip on their shoulder. They are mad at the world. They get into law enforcement because they want the power, not because they care about people. The police are rough and tough when it suits their egos, but when they are put in a situation where they have to do what they were hired to do -- i.e., "serve and protect" -- then they often run off and hide with their tails between their legs. The cops at Columbine didn't even have the guts to stand off against two teenagers, which is downright disgusting.

There are exceptions to everything in life, and the officer who sacrificed his career because he wasn't a coward and didn't appreciate the lack of courage exhibited at Columbine is a rare gem. I admire and respect this gentleman greatly and would love to make his acquaintance.
Karen Johnson
via the Internet


The Penis Mightier Than the Sword

Hung jury: This letter is in response to "Hanging Out," Michael Paglia's July 20 review of Horse: the male as sexual entity. As Paglia indicates, the show's use of the word "horse" comes from the term "hung like a horse," a derogatory expression for men; it is clear that the purpose of the exhibition had less to do with art and everything to do with testing the public's reaction to the explicit expression of male genitalia. As part of this experiment, Westword chose to publish one of the explicit photographs that showed a man with his genitals exposed.

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