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As I watch the Gail Gerlach manslaughter story unfold, I am confounded by the commentary of fellow citizens who voice an absolute support for the accused. One life has been ended, another has been forever altered. Had the perpetrator, Brendon Kaluza-Graham, been caught and brought to trial, a conviction would never have resulted in a death sentence, yet many are more than satisfied that Gerlach meted out appropriate justice. After all, we’re tired of crime.

Gene Sivertson wrote in a June 16 letter that charging Gerlach is destroying his life and the lives of his family. I couldn’t disagree more. The Gerlachs’ lives have changed because of his reckless disregard for public safety when he chose to discharge his firearm in the neighborhood he shared with other families. I wonder how understanding and supportive the community would be had Gerlach missed the fleeing suspect and instead killed a child or an elderly neighbor. I doubt that anyone would have said, “Sorry about your kid, but this guy’s stuff was being stolen.”

Gerlach will get his day in court. That’s his right under our system of justice, a right that he denied Kaluza-Graham. Life used to have greater value.

Jeffrey L. Davis

Spokane Valley


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