Philadelphia News & Search
Costly delays in Cosby charges
The Cosby jury’s inability to reach a unanimous decision left many with a sense of dissatisfaction and disappointment in the criminal justice system.
Former Temple University employee Andrea Constand alleged that Cosby drugged and fondled her in January 2004. The prosecution declined to file charges against Cosby, citing insufficient evidence, until December 2015. This delay in prosecuting Cosby should and did work against the prosecution. Defending allegations from more than 13 years ago was a very steep challenge.
While the filing fell within the statute of limitations, it undermined the credibility and veracity of the prosecution’s case.
Some of the jurors had to wonder: If this man committed such a heinous act, why did the prosecution wait so long to act on it?
Add that Constand was not examined by a doctor after the alleged incident and did not contact police for a year. And her phone records showed she was in contact with Cosby more than 50 times following the alleged offense.
There is a reason lawyers say, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Just don’t delay.
— Louis J. Shapiro, criminal defense attorney, Los Angeles, email@example.com
Mistrial a good sign
A mistrial should never sicken anyone, since a verdict of guilty should never be considered an easy or exact decision (“Mistrial made him ‘sick,’ says man claiming he was a juror,” Tuesday).
We have all heard the saying, ”There, but for the grace of God, go I.” This can apply to the jurors as well as to the litigants. How many of us judge another, only to discover that we were wrong.
How many people sent to jail have been exonerated because of the rush to judgment or false evidence or testimony. The Bill Cosby mistrial only indicates that a juror or two had doubts about the veracity of the evidence or testimony presented. This may be because of a juror’s experience or sensitive conscience. Who among us would not want such careful observation of the facts before determining our guilt or innocence.
A mistrial really means that the jurors took their job seriously. We should be grateful for that, not sickened. Many can point fingers to indicate guilt, but only the facts can verify it.
— Ernie Sherretta, Broomall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gun violence must end
Twelve high school students and a teacher are shot and killed at Columbine High School. Twenty children and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And the tragic list goes on. Yet, we still do not find the political will to enact stronger gun-control laws. Last week, six people were shot at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. (“Target: GOP,” Thursday). Monday’s Inquirer reported one dead and one hurt in a Center City shooting (“Center City shooting leaves 1 dead, 1 hurt”).
On an average day, 92 Americans are killed with guns, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than seven Columbines or nearly four Sandy Hooks every day. There are nearly 12,000 gun homicides each year in America — nearly four times the number of lives lost on 9/11.
Let’s use the right words to describe this carnage — domestic terrorism — and do something concrete to stem this bloody tide.
— Marie Conn, Hatboro, email@example.com
Criminals don’t obey laws
In response to Friday’s letters calling for increased gun control following the shooting of House GOP Whip Steve Scalese and four others last week, there are thousands of federal, state and local gun-control laws already on the books in the United States. Please tell me which new gun-control law or laws will make everything better and all of the criminals adhere to them?
An assault is an act, not an object. A semiautomatic rifle is exactly that — it’s not an assault rifle; it’s a rifle. There are countless items that can and are used to assault people with, but we never put the word “assault” in front of them. I have purchased a lot of firearms over many decades in gun shops, gun shows, and online. I have NEVER been able to purchase any of them without going through a complete background check.
So, please, stop listening to the left-wing gun banners with their false information and do your own research to get the honest facts. Remember, thousands of gun-control laws are already on the books. Criminals do not abide by the laws.
— R. Burns, Hatboro
Require alcohol training for frats
At most restaurants nationwide, many of the bartenders have participated in programs to learn how to serve alcohol in a responsible manner. The programs also train staff how to deal with people who have consumed too much alcohol and often want to consume even more.
If colleges where to require one or two members of a fraternity or sorority to take this training, maybe someone could be held responsible for excessive alcohol consumption (“No pledging, no hazing,” Thursday).
The Philadelphia Health Department will not allow my restaurant, Seafood Unlimited, to open unless there is a staff member who was trained in ServSafe, the program designed to help serve safe food in restaurants and other commercial settings. I doubt college students would volunteer for such training, but maybe the city could require fraternities and sororities to staff their parties the way it does restaurants.
— David S. Einhorn, Philadelphia
Tackling climate change locally
President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord was a disconcerting policy move for the Camden County Freeholder Board and our community because of the real threat of climate change and the deterioration of our environment. The board has supported a sustainability plan that will make an impact locally but contribute globally to combating climate change.
We will continue to implement our own sustainability plan, and, like hundreds of cities, states, businesses, and universities, will uphold the Paris agreement. The board codified this pledge by passing a resolution Thursday.
In addition, the board will urge our state leaders to join the U.S. Climate Alliance. New Jersey needs to lead by example on climate change, based on geography and a tourism industry that generates about $43 billion annually, thanks, in large part, to our barrier islands.
If you are interested in continuing to make environmental progress, please go to http://sustainable.camdencounty.com to see how you can participate in our programs and defy the president’s disregard for science and the health of our community.
— Louis Cappelli Jr., Freeholder director, Camden
Philadelphia News & Search