Letters to the Editor - Aug. 23, 2013
Horrible for all parties
In regard to Friday’s News-Register, does District Attorney Brad Berry really feel intimidated by a group of people claiming he cannot do his job? Does he not understand our state laws?
Perhaps he should not be in the position he is in if he cannot stand up for what he believes is just. Ignorance is bliss. How about having all these so-called “justiceforandrew” supporters get their facts straight before passing judgements? Accidents happen every single day despite how awful they may be.
Not one of those boys had intentions of murder, and to bash them just shows your own character. Remorse and guilt flood these boys, as well as their friends and families. Do not judge them or their friends and family as trash. You know nothing of them or what they’re going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
It’s awful for Andrew’s loved ones, but the situation is horrible for all parties. Unless you were there and witnessed or played a role in the incident, your “insight” is truly irrelevant.
Every single one of the boys involved are good guys who made bad choices, and every single one of them was under the influence except for the one everyone seems to believe should be prosecuted. The law has made the legal and just decision, so, please, let Andrew rest in peace.
Trying to understand
I’m trying to understand the district attorney’s decision in the Andrew Agcaoili case.
My service on a grand jury gave me real insight into how the justice system is intended to work. The DA’s initial decision caused outrage because it appeared he was stifling justice by not allowing a grand jury of unbiased, non-law enforcement citizens to weigh the evidence. Because a life was lost, the definitive announcement that no charges would be filed left many people angry and confused.
What would the prosecution’s decision have been if Andrew had been knocked unconscious instead of losing his life? Would both men have been charged under Measure 11? Would only the man who threw a punch be in jail?
Had the police had the opportunity to interview Andrew, how would the outcome have been different? And if the victim had just been knocked unconscious and left on the sidewalk, what rationale would have been used for the prosecution’s decision?
The DA’s memo to McMinnville Police Department made a biased impression. I don’t know why the “victim” group’s activities were more relevant than the “suspect” group’s actions. They all had been drinking that night. By recounting just one group’s movements that day, the report seemed more of a character judgment than a decision based on the law alone.
I’m pleased that the DA is looking into what charges might stick in the matter of this death. I don’t believe the attacker intended to kill anyone, but anyone who throws the first blow is accountable for that decision, and we need to send a clear message.
If I text and drive, and kill someone by accident, I go to jail. When you hit someone, the intent is to harm them, and if you kill them by accident, it doesn’t change the intent.
Impossible to prove case
I couldn’t help but realize the similarities between risky behavior described in Jeb Bladine’s column and the consequence of risky behavior eventually leading to the death of Andrew Agcaoili.
I would say that risky behavior is not human, but rather the thought of risky behavior is human. Acting on that thought is where we define the line of stupidity, logic or wise-minded acts — and, at times, even brave. Much of this is addressed only after the consequence has already taken place.
Many balk at the prosecution not filing charges against Brandon Paholio. I don’t. Do we really need a trial and more expense in an already overloaded court, when you can’t possibly get a conviction? Would we have another trial like the futile Dundee murder case in 2011 for gun-toting drug dealer Jonathan Williams? Or even more publicized, the Trayvon Martin trial?
Many Americans seem to think that somebody being killed means someone was murdered. That isn’t the case under law. No charges should be filed under two circumstances: self-defense, because the person struck appeared to be the instigator, and mutual combat. Washington allows the mutual combat defense, but I’m not sure Oregon does.
The mutual combat law basically states that combat ensues under no undue advantage such as neither being trained in martial arts. I don’t think this case qualifies, because advantage would be a person using a fist versus a knife or gun. I think it would be impossible to convict for murder, and you would have a very difficult time obtaining a manslaughter charge in the case where the one who died appeared to instigate the circumstances.
This time, the prosecution got it right. It’s a shame this ended in tragedy when all people had to do was walk away from each other. But they let their egos get in the way.
GOP afraid plan will work
Is Obamacare going to work? It’s a vitally important question, and only time will tell us for sure.
But looking into the tea leaves, I’m going to predict that it will work, and work very well, actually. I think once it is established and the kinks are worked out, the great majority of Americans will be quite satisfied with it.
What makes me confident? The Republican barometer. This is the measure of how vehemently the Republicans in Congress are resisting the law being implemented. Recent experience with Republican opposition suggests the barometer has a good predictive record.
Congressional Republicans were intensely opposed to loans extended to the auto companies. Socialism. Government takeover of private industry. Doomed to failure. And the real result was success. Resurgent American car production, increased employment, and the loans largely paid off.
Then there were gays in the military. Disruption of cohesion. Loss of discipline. Devastation of morale. The reality: a big yawn. The military carries on with flags flying.
Don’t forget student loan reforms. Or the TARP. Or opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act. All were destined to fail or cause chaos, except they didn’t.
In all these cases, Congressional Republicans didn’t oppose change because they thought it wouldn’t work. They worried that change would work. They are scared to death that Obamacare will insure the uninsured, which it will, and do so in an affordable fashion.
The Republicans are horrified by the prospect of government, except for the military, being effective. So they voted 40 times in the House to repeal Obamacare. Because, God forbid, it should go into effect and the country discovers that it helps real people.
If Obamacare works, Congressional Republicans, with all their eggs in the basket of no, will have some serious explaining to do.
Replace the ‘progressives’
Which sounds better to you: that people be as free as is reasonable or controlled by others? Are you more satisfied doing good because it is required by law, or because you choose to do it out of personal conviction?
If you choose freedom and are informed, then you probably are as frustrated as I am at how the poisonous cloud of federal government overreach is spreading. Progressives in the federal government want to regulate your life from cradle to grave. Your car, food, toilet, light bulbs, energy sources, emissions, speech, ideas, income, conversations and health care are being ever more controlled by the giant fed.
Thankfully, though, we have been given a Constitution that is all about limiting the federal chokehold and relegating more responsibility to individual states. This ingeniously written plan was inspired by Biblical principles of freedom and the worth of the individual. Besides lots of prayer (I pray regularly for our president and Congress), we must elect leaders who will respect the Constitution.
President Obama and progressives like him who trample daily on the Constitution must be replaced. The freedom we once had cost many their lives. It is a freedom still worth defending.
Don’t believe the false promises you will hear this campaign season from people like Bonamici or Merkley. They are part of the controlling class, who may sound like they want to create more jobs but, truly, their policies will continue to sink our economy and lose legitimate jobs. The only jobs they seek to increase are those in the federal government. And that costs you in higher taxes. Pray hard and vote Conservative Constitutionalist.