Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Tom McCalden

I demand a public apology from Mark Hurlbert, our district attorney. He is quoted in an article, “Jury fails to reach verdict in rape case,” as saying “In sexual assault there is the presumption that the victim isn’t telling the truth.” If this quote is correct, our DA has insulted the integrity of the 12 Eagle County citizens (myself included) who served for four days as the jury in this case. Did we the jury really go to deliberate the case with a prejudice (irrespective of the evidence) that the “victim” was lying? Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, after listening to two days of testimony, most of the jury were undecided going into deliberations. We discussed the evidence and even listened again to more than two hours of taped testimony from the “victim” and the accused. In the end it was the behavior of the victim that gave the majority of the jury cause for “reasonable doubt” about the guilt of Mr. Harris. So, Mr. Hurlbert, the reason for your failure to convict the accused was not due to a jury bias. The evidence just simply was not sufficient to prove that the odious violence of sexual assault ever took place. Tom McCaldenWolcottPath of peaceLast week in London, four blasts occurred along the city’s densely populated underground system and on a bus in the city’s center, causing deaths and hundreds of injuries. Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, blamed terrorists, whom he described as “barbaric.”A Rotary International friend, Cal Thomson, wrote: “Just a day after we in Britain were celebrating London winning the 2012 Olympics, this happens. Of course, its deliberately timed to coincide with the G8 Summit at Gleneagles, Scotland where the subject of Africa will arise and campaigns such as ‘Make Poverty History’ have been pushing the case for more aid, debt relief and fair trade.” How will Rotary react? Rotary will hold fast to its principles, “the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace.” Those are not merely words but Rotary in action in this often cruel and bloody world: — Understanding through Group Study Exchange and our Youth Exchange programs.– Goodwill through our humanitarian and educational programs. — Peace and conflict resolution through our Rotary world peace fellowships.And those are only a few of the things Rotarians will do while extending the hand of friendship and peace and working together with their neighbors worldwide and all committed to making the world a better place. Rotary will always take the high road.Rotary’s founder, Paul P. Harris, wrote in the Rotarian magazine in May 1942 that “War cannot go on forever. Peace must and shall come. The years ahead reserve for Rotary a most difficult and arduous task. To heal the wounds of a war-ravished world; to substitute for hate, mutual understanding and tolerance; to create affection where rancor exists; to change enemies into friends and replace excited passion and armed struggle by goodwill and international peace.””This is the superhuman task we must undertake. This is a task in which Rotary will labor with all its strength, in spite of the fact that … we have no instruments other than our principles, nor more strength than our enthusiasm. We are sure of victory because of the great faith that all of us Rotarians have in … humanity.”Edward “Eddie” BlenderEdwardsVail, Colorado

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