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Horrible act of injustice

Last week was my first time reading the Independent and I was immediately engaged in the article "The end of innocence" by Rich Tosches. My first semester of college I was arrested for accessory to shooting with intent to kill, a crime which I had not realized had happened.

Not only do I believe that Nathan Baird is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, but I was taken aback by the complete lack of rationality by the district attorney. The wrong individual is being charged with the crime of accessory and any attempt to correct the mistake is being replaced by further attempts to prosecute.

Not only do I find this to be a horrendous act of injustice, but it only demonstrates the lengths society would go to avoid admitting that their actions were erroneous. The district attorney should be thanking him for aiding in the capture of a dangerous criminal.

-- Lisa Casady

Colorado Springs

Review the case

I read the cover story in last week's edition, and found the story very disturbing. Why is the DA trying to prosecute Nathan Baird? Sounds to me like he did everything right given the circumstances. I certainly don't want my tax dollars to go towards prosecuting innocent people! I hope that the new DA will review this case.

-- Patricia Ferrao

Colorado Springs

Idiocy of the courts

If you need an update on what our judicial system has come to, all that one needs to do is read the article, "Say cheese" in the Jan. 13-19 issue.

I would personally like to congratulate the author of this article for bringing the total uselessness and idiocy of the courts to my attention. I could hardly believe my eyes as I read the words stating that a 45-year-old man, who was already serving a lifetime sentence for a previous conviction, was being prosecuted for handing out cheese sandwiches to his fellow inmates. The sandwiches, which were given to him by the hands of the deputies themselves, were considered contraband.

Instead of cracking down on drug dealers, thieves and murderers, our DA's are on the tail of the guy with the sandwiches. Way to go guys. They are wasting time and tax dollars on a man who has already been sentenced to life without parole. So, lets all thank our city's system for focusing on the important matters in crime.

-- Vickie Pasko

Colorado Springs

Life sentence plus cheese

I would like to thank the El Paso County Court system for spending my tax dollars so wisely. I was thrilled to discover through the news article "Say cheese," that the taxpayers of this county are not only paying to keep murderers in prison for life, but also paying for the assurance that the years following the life term are accounted for. I was worried that my money was being spent for asinine purposes.

Even though Douglas Wilson was already sentenced to life in prison, I am happy that district attorney Dan May was compelled to penalize him in the same manner as he would anyone else illegally distributing cheese sandwiches. I agree that it is vital to uphold the laws and rules instituted in our prison systems; that rather than convicts merely being punished by prison officials, the courts have deemed it necessary to further prosecute those already serving a life term.

Just knowing that these three extra years have been added to Mr. Wilson's sentence has renewed my faith in our court system. After the completion of a life sentence those three extra years will make all the difference.

-- Leslie Ann Kropp

Colorado Springs

Jail is not a hotel

The Jan. 20 news article "Going off: Life in prison can be a riot" contained many upsetting comments. First off, what kind of conditions do these inmates think they are going to be living in? Are we to send our criminals to a hotel-type environment where they can work out in the recreation room and build up their muscles? When in our society did we start to reward those who have broken the law and make those who haven't pay for it?

The article states: "[t]he number of counts ... increased dramatically, cutting into the rec time." Now that there are more and more criminals that we have to accommodate, are we to build a theme park for their entertainment purposes? Get over it! You committed a crime, you broke the law, you don't deserve all the best things in life. The fact is, the prison systems cost enough as it is, and while I believe that all human beings should be treated humanely, I do not believe that we should spend millions of dollars providing prisoners with the best of everything.

Perhaps if our prison systems were not quite so comfortable, criminals might think twice about committing or recommitting crimes. Often that is not the case. Too many times offenders are let out, only to recommit their crimes.

-- Jennifer Hepworth

Colorado Springs

Prisoners are human beings

It is unfortunate that prison conditions have to be so poor at some correctional facilities such as the Crowley County Correctional Facility. The riot that occurred in southeast Colorado last summer could have been avoided if the facility was properly staffed.

It is also distressing to know of the living conditions for the inmates. A poor diet that is served there can lead to many health problems. Yes, the inmates are criminals that need to be punished, but they are still human beings and deserve food that is nutritional. There should be laws and inspections regarding this, just like restaurants having inspections by the Health Department in order to maintain quality.

I'm not sure where the funding for correctional facilities comes from, but I believe it comes from state funding. If so then I understand why there is not much money for improvement because of the TABOR Amendment that was passed which limits state funding. But something still has to be done or this will happen again.

-- David Cunningham

Via the Internet

Hate is not a family value

Hate, discrimination and a lust for hardwood floors. This is what Laurel Hill's heart is filled with. After reading her letter published in the Gazette last Friday, and then reading the follow-up column by Rich Tosches in the Jan. 20 Independent, I find myself incredibly angered.

Laurel Hill expressed her anger about the appearance of Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star) at a home remodeling show in Colorado Springs. She wrote, "I think people who want to take their families out to try to find ways to improve their homes should not necessarily have to expose themselves to the gay lifestyle."

Well, people who want to read the Gazette (snicker, laugh) shouldn't have to expose themselves to a hatemonger like Laurel. I am not homosexual, nor am I a conservative. However, I am a person who believes in raising children to be hate-free individuals who are eventually able to make their own decision about their beliefs.

Laurel Hill is teaching her children how to hate people. Hate is not a family value, and children should not be taught to discriminate against others. A question for you Laurel ... If one of your children were to grow up and be homosexual, would you discriminate against them? My guess is they would be isolated from your family and ridiculed. Hey, maybe you could take them to Focus on the Family to be "cured"!

It is citizens like Laurel Hill who only promote an uglier world of hate and misplaced values for our children. The children are our future. Unfortunately Laurel, you are shaping a future of destruction and hate for the children of the world.

P.S. Hope you had fun at the home remodeling show!

-- Ryan Smith

Colorado Springs

Adjust the focus

With Desperate Housewives, Survivor, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Elimidate, Who's Your Daddy? and forensic pathology dramas, so graphic they turn the stomach, filling our television screens, Focus on the Family is targeting SpongeBob? It's time for an adjustment to their focus. It's as though a plastic doll and a human baby were both disappearing under the waves and Dr. Dobson is diving in to save the doll.

-- Donna Drialo

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: For more on the adventures of SpongeBob SquarePants and James Dobson, check out As the Village Turns on page 13.

Refusal speaks volumes

I was reading last week's Public Eye, "A club for good old boys," and I could not help but be reminded of how out-of-hand the homophobes are getting in our town.

The fact that there has to be a lawsuit in the first place is absolutely astonishing. The school's unwillingness to recognize such a club speaks volumes about how this entire town perceives the gay population. As opposed to accepting homosexuality for what it is, and moving on with their lives, they'd rather piss and moan about how gay people are tearing the "moral fabric" of our town to shreds.

Maybe this will come as a surprise to some Christian parents, but it's not just the sodomites, the drug addicts and the criminals who are ripping apart the moral fabric of our fair town. Every shady deal, every time you curse somebody for being different from you, every time you masturbate, every time you cheat on your husband, by your own standards, you're being just as immoral as the people you slander throughout your day.

I'd bet serious money that you, your husband, your daughter, your son and everyone you know are not perfect. Stop judging people based on how imperfect your God tells you they are.

-- Aston Reynolds

Colorado Springs

Tolerance a two-way street

Here is a comment on the overall feel of last week's publication from a somewhat conservative point of view. I thought it might add some flavor.

For a publication that spouts a rigid doctrine of "tolerance" and open-mindedness, I've been unable to escape the overwhelming vibe of an anti-conservative, anti-Christian undercurrent throughout much of what is printed in the Independent.

Last week's edition also seemingly singled out Focus on the Family as a target with such comments as, "If Focus knew that a cast member from Queer Eye was so close, they would have enrolled him in their highly respected gay conversion program ...," as well as throughout Cara DeGette's "A club for good old boys," which laments the ministry's involvement in a District 11 dispute over sexual orientation and student activities.

I call Focus a ministry, which is what it is, but Ms. DeGette names it an "anti-gay group," which is a gross misrepresentation of an organization whose objective is to preserve this nation's disintegrating respect for family and marriage as it was intended to be.

That being said, I would like to commend Mr. Eric Johnson for his comments in the Letters section. "The readers of the Independent are a diverse culture. [To] celebrate diversity, it is necessary to accept that others will follow paths you do not agree with."

My question to your readers is this: Why is it called "tolerance" to accept the destruction of the nuclear family while it's considered "interference" for a conservative Christian to voice their convictions with as much liberty as those on the opposite end of the spectrum enjoy?

-- Sharayah Perry

Colorado Springs

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