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Pleased with Gerlach verdict

As a retired, well-seasoned career criminal trial prosecutor, I have never before been actually happy to see a criminal defendant acquitted at trial. The Gail Gerlach verdict gave me a new emotional experience in that regard. My satisfaction at seeing justice, in my opinion, properly obtained was only diminished by professional disappointment that the charging decision was made in the first place.

This does not mean that I do not have sympathy for the family of the deceased. I certainly do. Congratulations to the jury on a hard job done correctly.

However, for a family member comparing the deceased’s continued felony behavior with minor “annoyance” is insulting to people who have actually experienced felony assaults against their livelihood and property that could only reasonably be prevented by force.

The annoyance analogy by the family member merely reinforces the perception that some families do not instill reasonable responsibility in their children. That is a great deal of the problem. What has happened to social ostracism?

Clark Colwell



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.