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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Roberto Miramontes Román in court, Friday, August 17, 2012.
Editorial: Difficult verdict

- Difficult verdict: Justice not always as it seems - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

It seemed like an open and shut case. In the immediate aftermath of the crime, the defendant, Roberto Miramontes Román, had confessed to killing Millard County Deputy Sheriff Josie Greathouse Fox. So when a jury returned a verdict of not guilty Friday, there was shock, disbelief and cries of injustice.

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That is understandable, particularly from the victim’s family. It is impossible to imagine their anguish and anger. Our hearts go out to them.

But it is a mistake for anyone else to label the jury’s verdict a miscarriage of justice, as Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff did Sunday. The jury heard all of the evidence at trial. It weighed that evidence and concluded that it could not in good conscience return a guilty verdict because the state had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. That is the jury’s responsibility, and no one else’s, certainly not Shurtleff’s. If there was reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds, then it was their duty to return a verdict of not guilty. [Read the rest ...]

Related, in a twisted sort of way:

- Autopsy: Death of handcuffed man in Arkansas a suicide - AP/Salt Lake Tribune

Little Rock, Ark. • A man police say shot himself in the head while his hands were cuffed behind him in the back of an Arkansas patrol car tested positive for methamphetamine, anti-anxiety medication and other drugs, according to an autopsy report released Monday that listed his death as a suicide. ...


- Limit trend toward secret juries - Detroit News Editorial

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