Letters from the week of May 5, 2005

 Law and Disorder

Quit your day jobs: The Ray Krone story shows what can happen when the law enforcement community gets it in for a guy. The old bird-in-hand philosophy is what I call it ("About Face," Robert Nelson, April 21).

I can't believe that these four men you mention in the story can have any kind of law enforcement careers after subjecting an innocent man to such hell -- and not even saying they're sorry. As those in the story asked, how can they live with themselves? But I'm sure I'm naive.

If I were Krone, I would sue the crap out of Maricopa County and the City of Phoenix. Oh, he already has! Whatever he gets won't be enough! How much is 10 years of his life worth? There's not enough money in the world to pay him for his misery. I'm sure it took years off his lifetime. Most people would have killed themselves in prison. Wonder how many times suicide happens because of faulty prosecutions by assholes like these guys?

I absolutely couldn't put down the story. And when I got finished, I was outraged and sickened. The stress that this man must have gone through! Thank God he had friends and family to help him. Most of us would have been literally up shit creek without a paddle.
Melinda Turner, Phoenix

From the horse's mouth: I've been watching this Extreme Makeover show for a while now, and I've seen them do some incredible things. Believe it or not, I've seen them turn uglier people than Ray Krone into reasonably attractive specimens.

I mean, what a fucking story! First this guy gets arrested because he's uglier than an ape and has bad teeth, then he goes through hell in prison. (You know, he probably was safer there because nobody wanted to do him in the shower.) Then, he gets his face fixed, wins millions of dollars in lawsuit judgments, and now he's got it made. (Is Hollywood reading Phoenix New Times?!)

Except that he still wants to whomp up on those in the law enforcement world who fucked him up. And he knows how to do bad things because he learned how in the joint. Unbelievable how things turn out! If I were those four law enforcement goons who did him in, I would be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.

As for me, I hope Ray can just get on with his life. I hope he can use the money to live well, which is the best revenge.
Shane Wildman, Phoenix

Good cop, bad cop: All I can say about your story "About Face" is bravo! Thanks for telling us the sordid truth about how the law enforcement community -- specifically the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Attorney's Office -- railroads people here.

You know, it's nice to read about some travesty of justice that isn't Sheriff Joe Arpaio's doing. It's nice to know that others out there are the same kind of evil motherfuckers that he is.

My dad was a judge, and he used to say that cops and criminals are often cut from the same mold. In the city in which we lived when I was growing up, the gangsters and the cops came from the same Irish and Italian neighborhoods. This Ray Krone story demonstrates that there's not much difference between the good guys and the bad.

Krone was a guy who never hurt anybody. Can the men who put him behind bars for a decade for a murder he didn't commit say the same thing? It would be interesting to know how many other poor schmucks like Krone they've put away in this county. I'd bet it's plenty.
Name withheld by request

Stormin' Mormons

Making a mockery of religion: We Mormons sure take a bad rap over our sacred Temple rites. For some reason you can insult Mormons in ways you could never get away with on other religions. For example, I have yet to see a writer mock the tallith katan, the undergarment worn all day by Orthodox Jewish men that forms a sacred space around the wearer. And I have yet to see a writer mock Catholics over transubstantiation, with its miraculous (or magical?) way of turning wheat bread and grape wine into the literal body and blood of Christ.

The crude idea that faithful Mormons expect to get their very own planet after death is something I would expect to hear from "The GodMakers." Martha Beck knows better ("Saint Misbehavin'," Robrt L. Pela, Speakeasy, April 21). Mormons believe in deification, similar to the early Christian teaching of theosis. Deification refers to the divine nature and potential of humans as children of God. (Offspring tend to mature into a resemblance of a parent.)

Martha's apostasy has nothing to do with "recovered memories." It's not that complicated: She's into chicks.
Geoff Bergeron, Phoenix

Don't blame all for the actions of a few: What did or did not happen to Martha Beck is a travesty to be sure. However, to put the whole Mormon church on trial for one man's sins is not only wrong, it is repulsive.

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