Bail reform is needed

To the Editor:

At a time when our country seems to be more divided than ever, it is refreshing to see a bipartisan effort to jump-start bail reform at the federal level.

But Senators Kamala Harris and Rand Paul aren’t the only policymakers reaching across the aisle on bail reform. Here in California, Republican state Senator Joel Anderson joined Democrats to help pass bail reform legislation at the state level.

There’s a reason policymakers on both sides of the aisle are championing bail reform: it’s not just morally the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Like the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017, California’s SB 10 will promote our collective safety and create a fairer and more equitable justice system where someone’s freedom isn’t determined by their bank account balance. Let’s hope they both get signed into law.

Christina Irving

Sonora

State fails in enforcing the death penalty

To the Editor:

Regarding the story “Mass killer spared death sentence” in The Union Democrat on Aug. 19, there are more than 750 inmates currently on death row in California.

So first of all let me say, to those of you who believe that there will be another execution in this state, raise your hand. If California executed one inmate per year how long would that take? Do the math folks. You see how laughable it is to have the death penalty in this state.

Texas is the only state that enforces the death penalty correctly. For those of you who are against the death penalty, I remind you that it is a Biblical form of punishment. Genesis 9:6 states: ”Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” That is pretty straightforward and to my knowledge God’s ruling has not changed.

In Ecclesiastes 8:11 it states; “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”

Those of you who have a problem with the death penalty and swift justice argue with God. Liberal judges should have more Biblical knowledge.

The inmates on death row have it better than inmates in general population. Death row inmates do not have to share their cell with another inmate whereas all other inmates are housed two to a cell.

Death row inmates get the same privileges as all other inmates. They have visits with friends and family members. They have access to legal services. TVs and radios in their cells. They have recreation time on the yard. They can spend up to $180 per month at the prison canteen. The death penalty in this state is a joke.

Ed Evans

Sonora

Monument cartoon was absurd

To the Editor:

My response to the “What do we get rid of next?” cartoon would be Donald Trump.

He is unfit for the presidency and seriously immoral and mentally ill.

The suggestion of the cartoon that there is a call to remove the monuments of true leaders like Jefferson, Washington or Roosevelt is absurd. That would be similar to Trump’s false equivalency that there were bad people on both sides at the Charlottesville march.

This sort of equivalence is concocted by right wing media such as Fox News, Tucker Carlson, to delegitimize the removal of Confederate “traitors” status that were put up long after the Civil War to intimidate and create a false narrative of the “Lost Cause.”

Yes Jefferson, and Washington had slaves and had flaws and should be admonished for it, but they created a nation and a democracy. They didn’t try and tear it apart as Lee did.

We as a people know the internment of loyal citizens of Japanese descent was wrong and racist. German citizens weren’t subject to the same shameful treatment.

To allow Nazi and KKK rallies isn’t free speech, it’s hate mongering, and needs to be squelched. The Confederate symbols in the public square need to be removed. They should be placed in Confederate cemeteries where their descendents can honor them to their hearts content.

James Gray

Jamestown

Caller, come out from the shadows

To the Editor:

This letter is in support of the plucky writers of “Dear anonymous” published on Aug. 8, and “I’m free to voice my opinion” published on Aug. 18.

I, too, received anonymous phone calls following my letters to the editor (July 12 and Aug. 8). In addition to his offensive messages, the gutless caller suggested that he would buy for me a one-way plane ticket out of the country. Unfortunately, I was not available to personally answer the calls since I was not home at the time to receive either of them. Nor — emphatically — do I want to leave the country I love, even at his personal expense.

As the two letter writers to whom I referred above bravely did, I invite our shadowy and nameless troll to respond via this local public forum. Indeed, as a favor in return for his gesture of payment for my exit from the United States, I would be happy to edit his text into readable prose free of charge.

Perhaps, if he does that, we can with good cheer revisit an historic and engaging exchange on writing: An unnamed actress wrote to fellow-thespian Ilka Chase following the publication of Chase’s book (“Past Imperfect”): “I enjoyed reading your book. Who wrote it for you?” Chase responded, “I’m so glad you liked it. Who read it to you?”

As one of the aforementioned letter writers wrote to Mr. Anonymous, “Man up!”

Irwin Schwartz

Sonora

We The People; not we the government

To the Editor:

With the rancor throughout the political spectrum one can’t help but wonder at the division within our country, the United States of America. What seems to be missing across the board is the remembrance that the real name of our country is We The People; not we the government.

We The People means just that, We. I have believed, and practiced, for a very long time in doing what I can when I can; signing petitions, writing the elected, explaining a fuller understanding of the history of the subject that someone is speaking rhetorically on; and especially asking “What have you done about it?” when someone is complaining about the “government.”

But the best example of what each of every one of us can do is a four year old girl, Alexandra (Alex) Scott. Battling brain cancer she set up a lemonade stand to help her parents pay her medical bills. Friends posted her “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” on Facebook and in 2005 the owner of one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby, Afleet Alex, saw her story and persuaded the three racetracks hosting the Triple Crown to allow Alex to set up her stands at the tracks each weekend of the three Crown races.

NBC covered her story for five minutes before each race. Afleet Alex ran third in the Derby but won the Preakness in a Miracle moment matching this little girl’s flight and the Belmont in spectacular fashion and was named Champion. Alex’s Lemonade Stands have been put up in major sporting events across the country and raised over $100 million for cancer research since then. Is a little four year old can become this inspirational then only thing holding each of us back from becoming “We The People” in this great country is our own heart and intellect.

Frank Wilson

Jamestown

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