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Letters to the Editor


Plea deal in Payne case would’ve cut time, cost

In an April 7 letter to the editor, Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall mentioned the dedication and perseverance demonstrated by prosecutors and their staff in the recent capital murder prosecution of Christopher Payne.

Prosecutors indeed put significant efforts into this case, but defense attorneys and their staff worked long and exhausting hours to fulfill their professional responsibilities as well.

That work extended for months preceding the trial, and continued during the one month of trial in March.

Nor can one forget the judge, the court staff or jury, either.

It must be publicly noted, however, that Mr. Payne offered to plead guilty to first-degree murder and accept a sentence of life imprisonment well before the trial started.

That plea would have obviated a good deal of the physical, emotional and psychological toll mentioned by Ms. LaWall that the trial, in fact, exacted.

Pursuit of the death penalty for Mr. Payne cost Pima County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in prosecuting and defending the case in court.

The estimated costs of appeals in these cases invariably run into millions of dollars. These appeals are also physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausting for all of the participants. A plea to life imprisonment would obviate an appeal.

While we can commend prosecutors and defense attorneys for their hard work and effort, the public should know there was another clear alternative in seeking a resolution of this case; one that would have resulted in finality to all concerned and a huge savings of public money.

Robert J. Hirsh

Pima County public defender

I’m wild about Harry’s no-nonsense approach

FBI negotiators, hostage standoff – I never heard of such nonsense.

This is the United States of America they’re messing with! Blow those pirates out of the water.

The same goes for North Korea. Enough already. We have become such a country of wimps.

Where is Harry Truman when we need him?

Linda Ablin

ASU, do U.S. the honor of resolving Obama cut

Re: “The big debate” Friday in Citizen Voices (“Obama at ASU”):

I have written to Arizona State University President Michael Crow to ask:

Whatever can ASU be thinking to determine that President Obama is not yet worthy of an honorary degree from your esteemed school?

I am not sure how much more this individual needs to accomplish in order to meet your standards. Having reviewed the list of past recipients of ASU honorary degrees, I’ve concluded that the university must have decided to withhold this honor for reasons other than merit. Could you please kindly explain what those reasons might be.

Susan B. Covert

Contoocook, N.H.

Shake & bake: Quakes have rocked our desert

Earthquake devastates Sierra Vista, Huachuca City, Tombstone and parts of Bisbee! Sound like a 1938 Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” invasion from Mars? Maybe not.

From the (U.S. Geological Survey’s) Internet earthquake history of Arizona: “Probably the most famous earthquake in this region occurred in 1887 near Bavispe, Mexico, about 190 miles southeast of Tucson. The temblor caused great destruction near its epicenter.

“From Guaymas to Nogales, Mexico; Benson and Tucson, Ariz.; and at towns as far distant as Albuquerque, N.M., water tanks spilled over, buildings cracked, chimneys were toppled and railroad cars were set in motion.

“An observer in Tombstone, near the Mexican border, reported sounds ‘like prolonged artillery fire.’ ”

As a 46-year insured customer of USAA homeowner policies, I received an extraordinarily bold notice on my last renewal date that I did not have earthquake insurance. I called USAA and asked for a quote.

I was told since I live in a slump block (or brick) home in Sierra Vista, my annual premium increase would be $996.

If my 1,700-square-foot home were wood frame and stucco, the premium would be $174.

I think it would be prudent to stock and keep a rotating pantry of canned and dry foodstuffs. And include something extra for our Mexican friends who might be fleeing disaster on their side of the border.


Sierra Vista

Citizens can ill afford not to have health care

I have health insurance, but my sons, ages 24 and 29, do not.

They have not been able to find jobs that will afford them that luxury. So I can live, but my sons are at risk.

If they get sick or in an accident, who will pay? Do I sell everything I own to save them, only to fall short even then and be in debt until I die?

Do you, the public, pay? Or do they just die if a serious accident occurred?

President Obama has come up with a plan that offers a public option similar to Medicare. This is the only way to provide the health care that families in my situation can afford.

My children need a choice. We are all at risk – we all need a choice. Otherwise, we’ll end up with the same old system.

We can do better, we need to do better, we need to move into the 21st century!

Patricia Boone-Edgerton Longoni

Queen Creek

Letters to the Editor

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This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

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In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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