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Letters

  • Claim of Iraq WMDs is a bipartisan blame game
    Will the Journal Gazette letter-writing political hacks ever tire of blaming George W. Bush for all of Iraq’s problems; e.g., Tim Tiernon’s letter in the July 17 issue. Tiernon apparently has a short memory.
  • Intelligence, instinct beat diversity in firefighting
    Is Fire Chief Eric Lahey a firefighter or a social engineer? I think he should be fired. There is no other way to deal with someone who is as blinded by race as he obviously is.
  • Among Hoosier politicians, ambition tops common sense
    We used to be rather proud of Indiana and its hardworking, common-sense people. Maybe not so much anymore.There are those among us who want to rewrite our nation’s Constitution.
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Letters

Eye-for-an-eye punishments would help eliminate violence

Let’s take a look at the root cause of what goes on in shootings. I can sum it up in two words: respect and consequence. These are what is missing and need to be corrected to curb this violence.

People who get shot had their rights taken away in a split second by someone who made a bad choice. Now the guilty party who still lives has rights and most time lives out their life in prison with a roof over their head and three meals a day and medical treatment free of charge. What respect is that for the people whose lives and rights were taken away?

It should be that if the shooter had no respect for human life and removed the victims’ rights, then the consequence is at that point they also gave up their rights and the shooter just gave up his life also. An eye for an eye, as they say. It’s like there is no fear anymore; if they do something wrong, they know they will be well taken care of in life. That should stop and change, and it might really help curb this stupid violence.

As far as semiautomatic weapons and large clips, I do not understand why they ever were allowed in the first place to own. I am an avid hunter and used to shoot in competitions. I had a chance to fire some of those weapons, and I knew there was no need to own one. I’ve never seen a squirrel hunter out with an assault weapon and 30-round clip hunting.

SAMUEL A. BAKER Decatur

Redd’s tireless efforts improved life for many

Charles Redd was a true champion for social justice.

I had the honor of working for him at the Fort Wayne Urban League in 1972 on issues of education, finding jobs for ex-offenders and voter registration/political education. He was smart, charming, clever, dedicated, tireless, honest, funny, well-read and visionary. He was kind enough to recommend me for a job as field coordinator of the National Urban League’s voter registration/political education program in New York, where I had an opportunity to continue the skills he taught me in communities across the nation. He both inspired me and essentially changed my life.

I was able to get back to Fort Wayne when he first ran for City Council and help him with his get-out-the-vote effort on Election Day. That was hardly repayment for all he did for me, and that was just a sliver of what he did for so many people, even people who hardly knew who he was. He was a great man.

R. CRAIG SAUTTER Chicago

These three steps can help county in clearing unsolved homicides

It should be alarming that 17 of 29 homicides in 2012 remain unsolved (The Journal Gazette, Dec. 30). There is one thing upon which we can all agree: Leadership is required.

In my view, that leadership would best come from the prosecutor’s office. I suggest three steps to enhance our solution rate.

First, return to an annual homicide review and seminar. Carefully evaluate old cases, stale information, new tips, commonalities in forensic evidence, appellate case rulings and anecdotal information. Investigators’ hunches should be thoroughly discussed, as there is no substitute for instincts.

Second, the homicide protocol must be strictly followed, and every case must be staffed and reviewed as soon as possible after the gathering of preliminary information.

Third, there must be a way to invite, or to require in some cases, vital information. Community outreach programs through church and social groups are indispensable. The grand jury is an important investigative tool for forcing reluctant witnesses to testify. We have a wonderful Victim’s Assistance program, and advocates have often helped relatives of victims, who are also witnesses to crime, go through the justice system.

Developing a systemic approach to gathering information about crimes is essential to solving them. It is important that we get this problem under control, because a high unsolved homicide rate contributes quickly to a breakdown in deterrent value for all crimes. It is frightening to know that so many murderers are living freely among us.

J. MICHAEL LOOMIS Former Allen County chief deputy prosecutor

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