Pubdate: Wed, 24 Aug 2005
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Copyright: 2005 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: John J. Whalan
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


The Eagle's editorial of Aug. 19 concerning the odd priorities of District 
Attorney David Capeless was short and to the point. While I have respect 
for his  office and the weight of his responsibilities I am troubled by his 
recent choices. There were more then 69 cases on the criminal trial list 
for Superior Court in July, many involving violent acts: assaults, rape and 
other crimes that directly impact public safety. In July alone there were 
at lest two rape cases that went unheard because of the lengthy and 
unsuccessful prosecution of Kyle Sawin for selling a small amount of 
marijuana to an undercover officer. One of  the rape cases, now more than a 
year old, involves a nursing home resident whose  illness is characterized 
by the rapid deterioration of her physical ability,  including her ability 
to communicate.

At the close of the Sawin trial, which ended in a hung jury, the judge 
suggested that the prosecutor meet with the defense attorney before 
deciding how to proceed. But the district attorney announced within hours 
that he would re-try the case in September.

Meanwhile there is a rape victim who lives in a nursing home and her 
ability to testify against her assailant diminishes with every passing day.

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