March 18, 2009 in Letters

No justice for Pete

The Spokesman-Review

An intoxicated man with a gun chases another man into my neighborhood. The intoxicated man shoots the other man in the head, and stray bullets go into a house down the street. Yet a jury finds that no crime has been committed. What kind of madness is this?

If I want to shoot somebody with a gun, do all I have to do is claim the person I shot made a “threatening gesture” to justify self-defense?

Who is to blame for this miscarriage of justice? The jury? The judge? The prosecution? Not only are taxpayers on the hook for this verdict, it looks like we’ll pay Officer Olsen’s back wages, too. I can’t help but wonder if the legal result would be different if the victim in this case, Shonto Pete, were white instead of Native American. This verdict is a giant step backward for the city I love.

Jon Snyder


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