Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, January 12th, 2011
Guards deserve similar sentence: Recently, a judge sentenced an Arizona teenager to natural life in prison for the murder of his teenage girlfriend. Supposedly, he beat her to death when he was 16 and she was 15. If a judge can sentence a teenager to natural life for a similar crime, then these beasts — who are old enough to know better and in a position of trust — should face the same sentence in [the Maricopa County Jail killing of Ernest "Marty"] Atencio ("Psalm for Marty," January 5, Stephen Lemons; also, see "Coddling Joe" Michael Lacey).
Perhaps [these detention officers] should face the death penalty because this was: 1) premeditated. 2) a hate crime.
Additionally, anyone of [the scrum of officers present] could have prevented the fatality after the beating — if someone had [possessed] the decency to check on Marty.
Amanda Altamirano, city unavailable
Roughshod over human rights: The people who support [Sheriff Joe Arpaio] and his "tough" policies need to take a second look at the reasons he has their support. Riding roughshod over human rights should not be a hallmark of justice in the Phoenix area
The sheriff position, for one, should not be elected. There is too much room for corruption, political ambition, and other irregularities. [Where] I hail from, they did away with electing sheriffs after one was heavily involved with illegal activity.
Dori Diamond, Pierce County, Washington
Sheriff Joe is hardly a pro: Even the MCSO media machine [will] have a hard time coming up with something to justify this latest [jail] death.
A professional agency would have suspended all the employees involved and immediately started an internal investigation.
A professional sheriff would have announced such action and done all he could to assure the public that this incident was the exception, rather than the rule.
A professional sheriff would have reached out to the family of this guy and apologized for his injuries and death.
[But] the MCSO [sheriff's] priority is self-aggrandizement. At any cost — including [the loss of] human life.
Tommy Collins, Phoenix
Our county is at great risk with Arpaio in power: So what is it going to take to clean this up and rid ourselves of this problem? How may people have to die and how many millions of dollars will the county lose to successful lawsuits against this inept politician?
The county is at great risk, and now that the [U.S. Department of Justice] has been critical of its operation, many more suits will follow and be successful.
Seriously, is there nothing that can be done to end this abomination of the rule of law? How on Earth can the United States allow this any longer? Anyone who defends this has absolutely no love for their neighbor or humanity.
Tommy Themulus, Phoenix
Not deserving of death: No one deserves to die in a jail unless a jury sentences them to death (and even then that's pushing it, though some sure can be worthy).
David Saint, Phoenix
PPD not in the clear on this: Immediate pressure [must be] put on the city of Phoenix because it's quite clear [from the video of the incident] that the officers who helped kill Mr. Atencio unnecessarily were Phoenix Police Department officers and not just the corrupt deputies of the fascist sheriff.
By continuing to send its prisoners to Joe Arpaio's modern-day American gulags, the city of Phoenix now is putting [itself] at risk because the DOJ report pointed out what is happening (especially to minority prisoners).
This puts ethical and moral responsibility on the shoulders of the City Council and city manager to stop sending prisoners to these gulags.
Leonard Clark, Phoenix
An innocent man?: [Marty Atencio] was murdered in a county jail, where 70 percent of the inmates are pre-trial [detainees] and have not been convicted of any crime.
Chad Snow, Peoria
That would be nice: We need someone to make the truth about Joe Arpaio go viral.
Kev Jessumberger, city unavailable
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