Crackers, gimme a break: The Juan Mendoza Farias case is so typical of what has gone on repeatedly in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails. Somebody gets put inside for a minor crime (in the great scheme of things) — drunk driving, getting high on drugs — and winds up slain at the hands of Joe's detention officers ("Dead Again," John Dickerson, September 11).
That is, prisoners get capital punishment for misdemeanor violations (though at the point they are killed, they haven't been convicted of anything). These aren't even accused murderers, rapists, big drug dealers, and armed robbers we're talking about here!
What the crackers in Maricopa County who keep electing Joe can't get through their thick heads is that it's illegal for jail or prison guards to kill even violent, convicted offenders — much less these petty possible lawbreakers.
If you ignorant rednecks don't care about the barbarity, you should at least care about the amount of money — almost $44 million — Joe's stupidity has cost county taxpayers. Because Arpaio has infused his jails with a climate of inhumanity that he calls "law and order," we're all paying through the nose.
And it's just dumb for voters and the county Board of Supervisors to let Arpaio get away with it — over and over.
I'll admit that, when I look at Juan Farias, what I see is a drunk. But Arpaio's guards aren't allowed to abuse the guy because he's out of his mind due to alcohol withdrawal, drugs, whatever. Professional law enforcement people know how to handle such situations without costing lives and untold millions of dollars in lawsuit payouts.
If this were any of the other five biggest counties in the nation, Joe and his detention officers who commit such atrocities would be in, or headed for, jail.
J.T. Gallagher, Phoenix
The bodies continue to stack up: The FBI's already investigating Joe Arpaio and his operation on a variety of levels. Let's just hope that the Juan Mendoza Farias case gives the bureau even more to go on. The bodies just keep stacking up — as do the lawsuit judgments. This hugely expensive cruelty can't go on forever, can it?
Sean Sullivan, Phoenix
Fred's the sensitive type: Scratch one taco. Juan Farias doesn't have to worry about where his next drinks are coming from. He can sleep his drunk off for all eternity.
Joe Arpaio's doing this county a service. He's ironing out these kinds of losers so that they will become horizontal.
You ought to do a story on how the losers' parents came into millions of dollars milking their sons' deaths in county jail. They're laughing all the way to the bank. Arpaio did these inmates a favor by putting them out of their misery and making their parents millionaires.
Ninty-five percent of the people in the county jail will be found guilty, so why cry about it?
Fred Linsenmeyer, Phoenix
What's next, an inmate lynching?: So let me get this straight: Guards have [fatally] beaten inmates and nothing has happened.
Earth to FBI: Time to do your jobs already, or are you waiting until the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office starts lynching inmates publicly in front of the jail?
I mean, come on, already! How far does it have to go until someone stops what's amounting to county-sponsored [killing of inmates]? It's time someone stepped up and proved that cops aren't above the law. Without cops you have anarchy, but with cops and detention officers continuing to break the law you have insanity.
I find it totally amusing also that County Attorney Andrew Thomas recently accused Democratic opponent Tim Nelson of taking donations from defense attorneys so that they can get better deals. Hey, Andy, try prosecuting one of the many [crimes] by detention officers before you start that BS.
David Saint, Phoenix
You get a clue!: You writers down at New Times are really a bunch of wise guys. Sheriff Joe does his job and tackles the tough job of dealing with illegal immigration.
Get a real job other than sitting behind a desk typing mindless bull manure and go out and see what the real world is like. I'll vote for Sheriff Joe again and again. Get a clue!
John Bielicki, Phoenix
Editor's note: Columnist Sarah Fenske and Managing Editor Amy Silverman expressed their opposing views on Sarah Palin — who's got a shot at becoming our first female vice president — in New Times' September 11 edition. Readers were outraged and delighted by Fenske's "Sister Sarah" and Silverman's "Mommy Dearest" commentaries. Below is a sampling of the feedback.
She's simply incapable: As I'm reading through this week's copy of New Times — from taxpayers paying for [killings] by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's SS (excuse me, corrections) officers, to the irrelevant nuances of Sarah Palin's character to Mesa residents supporting a neo-Nazi asshole ("Mesa's Shame," The Bird, Stephen Lemons) — I feel frustration like I have never felt before. It literally makes me want to holler and throw up my hands.