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Opinion >  Letters

Beggs is true reformer

“Haskell, Beggs support reforms,” (Oct. 1) trumpets The Spokesman-Review. Really? When did Haskell become a crusader for change?

Fact: After Otto Zehm was bludgeoned, hog-tied and allowed to die, when did Haskell call for systematic reform? Never. Meanwhile, Beggs fought for justice, forcing fundamental change in police accountability.

Fact: In 2012, when Beggs organized the Smart Justice Symposium, which included the mayor, sheriff, police chief, judges and other stakeholders, where was Haskell? Nowhere.

Fact: In 2013, when the Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Commission began a yearlong series of meetings with criminal justice professionals, where was Haskell? Again, nowhere.

Fact: When the commission issued its draft report to the public – incorporating many Smart Justice proposals – did Haskell comment? Not once. But then, as he began his run for Spokane County prosecutor, Haskell apparently realized people were fed up with a system that protects the police from accountability, squanders millions warehousing the poor and mentally ill in an overcrowded jail, yet does little of note to make us safer – and reformed his rhetoric.

Only Breean Beggs has been consistently smart on justice but tough on criminals who will not change. He gets my vote.

Bill Miller



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