Letters From the Issue of Thursday, January 3, 2008


Morally Reprehensible is his middle name: I'd heard many negative things about Sheriff Joe Arpaio for years, and what you've exposed, in detail, is truly shocking (see the "Target Practice" series). I know New Times has a hard-on for Arpaio, but if you can document every thing in the "Inhumanity Has a Price" article, it's morally reprehensible for Arpaio to run this kind of a jail, and just plain stupid management.

It seems no one in this country cares about who's in jail until it's someone they know, or it's themselves. The attitude is: "They're all garbage; they're getting what they deserve!" But New Times has rightly pointed out that the vast majority of people are awaiting trial for alleged crimes.

Someone who has been deprived of his or her freedom is legally entitled to a safe and healthy environment. The out-of-control pest problems, coupled with lack of proper healthcare and the rampage of MRSA, should be enough to shut down Maricopa County jails.

I've thought for years that Joe's Tent City — and the conditions in it — constituted cruel and unusual punishment, and I've wondered if his recidivism rate was any better than the norm. Now I know my suspicions were correct [because the "Inhumanity" story proves that his jail policies have done nothing to curb recidivism].

Any viable opponent who can run against Joe and can run the jails properly without incurring lawsuits will get my vote in the next election.
Laine Lawless, Mesa

Make Joe hunt the roaches and rats: In my perfect world, the sheriff will be tried, convicted, and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in his own jail and made to face the wrath of victims and their families. He will be paid $1 an hour for working 16 hours a day, without protective clothing, ridding the facility of vermin with industrial-strength disinfectants.

All his earnings will be returned to a taxpayer-reimbursement fund. Additionally, he will wear pink tutus in public, eat cockroach-infested bologna sandwiches, be bitten by spiders and left to languish without medical attention.

The "Inhumanity Has a Price" article needs to be headlined throughout all print and electronic media. Maricopa County voters should re-examine their value system.
Donna Downing, via the Internet

Put the monster in solitary: Why does Phoenix stand for this animal [Joe Arpaio] to care for human beings, when he is not one himself?

The government continues to be in charge of these jails. This monster should be put in solitary, never to be heard from again. I hope the poor people who are jailed by the pig continue to sue the pants off [Maricopa County].
Marilyn Smith, via the Internet

It's up to you. Vote him out: I am a native of Phoenix. I've followed New Times for over a decade. I know more about Joe Arpaio's inept, incompetent, ignorant, inexcusable ass than I ever wanted to. But I have no choice. This guy whores himself out to the local broadcast channels anytime he feels he's relevant to anything. This time, it's illegal aliens. He's constantly in our faces. Constantly.

The people of Maricopa County are fed up with this poor excuse for a man. The waste of skin and bones. This waste of a life. Everybody I know is sick of this pompous, cruel, criminally insane asshole. I say, this time around, if you're really serious about voting his sorry ass out of office, make Election Day a sick day [from work] and get your ass in that voting booth. I know I'm going to. Talk without action is simply inaction.
C.T. Black, via the Internet

We hope so, too: Welcome to the dark side of law enforcement. Kudos to New Times for boldly standing up to [law enforcement] terrorism. Do Phoenix authorities believe they can do as they please to whomever they target, with nary a care for legal consequences?

The [news] regarding Arpaio's costly reign of terrorism will hopefully be a revelation to those who rest their heads upon the altar of law and order.
Paul Vincent Zecchino, Manasota Key, Florida

Most amazing thing since 1942: Anyone who still supports Joe Arpaio is either just as corrupt, immoral and mean as he is or has a personality disorder that prevents him or her from admitting mistakes. The fact that he is still sheriff is probably the most amazing thing that I have known in my life, and I'm 65 years old!

Peggy Simpson, via the Internet


Just call him Norman: Hi, Bird. I thought I would ask you a question that has been nagging me for a bit. Why is it racist to have pride in the fact that you are white ("Pearce's Ready," The Bird, December 6)? Why is it okay to have the NAACP, ACLU, and Anti-Defamation League, but it is not right to have a support group for white people?

I have pride in my Norman grandfathers and don't understand why my friends of different color label me as racist when I ask this question. You are an educated man who probably doesn't have time for stupid questions, but I would be grateful if you helped me understand why.

Just because I am white and have a Norman-Irish background, why should I be ashamed of the fact that my great-grandfathers did stupid things?!
Name withheld by request


Looking for a real ally: Elias Bermudez is a poor choice to lead our people, as your story pointed out ("The Bermudez Triangle," Megan Irwin, November 15). How can a man who calls Sheriff Joe Arpaio his friend be a friend to Mexican immigrants? Arpaio has proved himself to be a racist of the highest proportions — along with his friend County Attorney Andrew Thomas — and Bermudez tells us how much he likes Joe?!

I hate to say it, but our people can be too passive for our own good. We need to find a leader who will be on our side 24/7, somebody who isn't willing to sell us out to save himself from an investigation by the sheriff.
Jose Galvan, Phoenix

Open your eyes to sell-outs, people: Let's see, Elias Bermudez likes George W. Bush, Jon Kyl, and Joe Arpaio. These people are certainly not friends of the Hispanic community. Just because a person shares your race it does not mean that person is good for the community.

Look at State Representative Ben Miranda in South Phoenix. Hispanic people either hate him and won't vote for him or fear him and do vote for him. Oh, yeah, that is another person you can add to Bermudez' list of "friends." Open your eyes, people!
Name withheld by request