Pubdate: Sat, 27 Aug 2005
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Contact:  2005 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Robin Litchfield


In letters written by John Whalan and Jeff Herman on August 24, both bring 
up strong points in regards to District Attorney Capeless. As Mr. Herman 
said "as a  community, it's incumbent upon us to monitor . our elected and 
appointed  officials" and Mr. Whalan wrote "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 retry the 
case in September." Regarding the editorial dated July 19 titled "Capeless' 
odd priorities," where is the deterrent if you confess to stabbing someone 
as well as selling drugs to them and go unpunished?

An article printed on July 9 regarding Michael O'Laughlin's appeal being 
overturned once again shows priorities are odd. District Attorney Capeless 
is quoted as saying "he would appeal the appellate decision." On the 
website it shows that there were three justices from 
out of the area whom for six months reviewed all of the exculpatory 
evidence in this case rendering a reversal decision and making it so that 
he can not be retired.

This is a waste of taxpayer money rehashing a trial that three appellate 
justices rendered an unbiased clear cut decision on.

Have we gone to the extremes to win at all costs when people plead not 
guilty? When someone is guilty by admission it should not go unpunished or 
given  a lighter sentence than what the law written calls for. When people 
are being murdered here in Pittsfield and someone is going unpunished we 
have a flaw in the Berkshire County judicial system.

People should be held accountable for their actions including elected 

We elect these people and we need to  make sure we are being serviced in 
what is right for the community.


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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom