I am writing to you in regard to Mara Leveritt's article Sept. 3. Ms. Leveritt was denied access to public records by an Arkansas Supreme Court clerk; specifically, she was denied the affidavits related to juror misconduct pertaining to Damien Echols' case. Ms. Leveritt cites an Administrative Order 19 filed February 2007 which grants public access to court records in order to keep the court accountable to society. As a concerned citizen and as an educator who has followed this case closely, I would expect the court to follow its own rules and release the records.
What are they hiding? Do they not want to admit what everyone else has already figured out? Wrongful conviction is an injustice that imperils the foundation of the American justice system. Each citizen who has endured such injustice, each individual person, deserves thoughtful consideration by far-sighted Americans, not out of pity, nor horror, nor sympathy, but because the reality of the situation that innocent citizens can be imprisoned for decades for crimes they did not commit destroys our confidence in the legal system. These young men have suffered enough for a crime they did not commit and it is time that elected officials in this state step forward, admit the mistake, release them, and compensate them for the 16 years they have been in prison.
Lanette Grate (Ph.D.)
University of Central Arkansas
The Obama speech
“Study hard, obey your teachers, don't drop out of school.”
To a conservative, this is socialism. Why? Because they know that a person who has the skills to think for him or herself is a threat to their world view and their values, which, regrettably, sound more and more racist everyday.
Cabot schools did not want to show the president's speech because of some parents.
The irony can be cut with a knife. The Cabot School District's website says: “The Cabot School District is committed to educating all students to be responsible citizens who value learning, treat others with dignity and respect, and successfully adapt to the demands of a rapidly changing society.” Ha.
Referring to the president as a socialist is a code word for a racist to attempt to appear less so. And, kowtowing to those who equate quality health care for all as “socialism” is enabling racism. Since when is Arkansas the “land of opportunity” with school districts like this?
John Wesley Hall
I have been attending the Razorback football games at War Memorial Stadium for many years, and I was in attendance at this past weekend's game as well. I was extremely disappointed with the decision to blast sound effects and/or music over the stadium loudspeakers at the same times that the Razorback Marching Band was playing music for the fans. I considered it rude, inconsiderate, and in extraordinarily bad taste. The students that comprise the marching band work just as hard as the football players, cheerleaders, mascots, etc., to provide an outstanding entertainment experience to the Razorback fans. At the very least, our home stadiums should provide that opportunity to them. I'm not sure why this decision was made, but I hope that the appropriate authorities receive enough like-minded comments to provoke a change for the next Little Rock game.
Murphy exec misleads
Recently-retired Murphy Oil CEO Claiborne Deming's recent presentation opposing cap-and-trade was short-sighted and not entirely accurate. Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass show enormous potential for the future of energy needs in our country. The climate and energy legislation that Deming spoke against would actually help the Arkansas economy while reducing the pollution causing global warming. The Waxman-Markey bill would mean more jobs created in solar, wind and energy efficiency businesses. Deming calls the bill a “tax on consumers,” but the fact is that cap-and-trade is a free market funding mechanism. Further, the bill calls for huge investments in energy efficiency programs that will lower energy usage. The result will be that monthly bills should not change that much. Senator Lincoln and Senator Pryor, please support Waxman-Markey.