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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Shame on whom?


To The Editor:

This is in response to a recent letter in the My View section entitled "Shame on the judicial system" written by Marilyn Spalding and her daughter.

Ms. Spalding, your title is misleading, it seems that you were not saying "shame" to the judicial system, but more so to "half the local townspeople, neighbors and longtime residents" you scolded in defending "the criminal." You say that it was due to the "counseling" of the defendant's attorney that these people took time out of their busy lives to speak on his behalf.  

"These were neighbors, friends of my mom and dad whom my family worked, played and went to school with," you write, and then you tell them, "I hope all you who testified can sleep at night with a clean conscience."    

Granted, crimes were committed, confirmed by the person who committed those crimes when they pleaded guilty. I could certainly understand anyone's anger at a break-in to their home, and the emotions that come after.  

I can also understand when someone is troubled and in need of help. It is in hard times that the great people of this community come together, in an unselfish and loving way, to support in whatever way they can. Those neighbors, friends and family that you chastised chose of their own accord to speak for the defendant because they are good, caring individuals, not because they were convinced by a lawyer. This substantial number of people obviously believed in this person, knew that they deserved a second chance, and had the courage to say as much in court.

I'm sure, Ms. Spalding, that you have had your own troubles with family members throughout the years, and I would hope for you and your family's sake that there were caring individuals there to help you and yours through the tough times.   

I applaud all those who spoke up in court; it was not only brave but just another fine example of what a great community we live in. Shame on you, Ms. Spalding, for vilifying the family, friends and neighbors of all of us, for doing the right thing.
Kathy (Ward) Carton



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