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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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Western Opinion Sampler: Crime and punishment. And Nixon ...

Field of violence: Death puts sports into perspective — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The judicial process has just about run its course for the 17-year-old who admitted causing the death of a volunteer soccer referee during a match last April. But the consequences of a moment of unrestrained rage will be felt by the teenage soccer player, his family and the survivors of Ricardo Portillo for all their lives.

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The teen pleaded guilty Monday to homicide by assault, a third-degree felony. He will remain in a juvenile prison facility, probably until his 21st birthday. ...

... The sentence seems to fulfill the demands of justice....

...The tragedy should provide a lesson to others involved in recreational sports. Many young players are learning the wrong lesson from adults. Far too often referees, umpires, coaches and players are the targets of people who let themselves get too impassioned about a game and behave violently or aggressively.

Sports do not deserve the level of importance they sometimes are afforded. No game should have life-and-death consequences.

Just as the teen in this case must keep a photo of Portillo where he can see it, everyone involved in sports should remember him and put games back into proper perspective.

Should the prison be moved? — Deseret News Editorial

There may be some logic in soliciting bids for moving the Utah State Prison before the decision is made whether to move it or not, but there is also a feeling the state is putting the "cart before the horse." ...

Prisons and American values — Los Angeles Times Editorial

Our treatment of prisoners expresses our values, and mistreatment such as that alleged by California hunger strikers should not be tolerated.

Gov. Jerry Brown reaping what he sowed on state prisons — Dan Walters | San Jose Mercury News

Prison museum worth studying — Santa Fe New Mexican Editorial

Let’s face it. The notion of a museum dedicated, even in part, to the horrors of New Mexico’s prison riot is creepy.

In 1980, inmates at the Old Main prison killed 33 of their fellow prisoners as riots engulfed the penitentiary. Evil ran wild, with beheadings, burned bodies and amputations among the atrocities committed. ...

... Now the Department of Corrections is considering whether the old prison could become a museum, a place where people could go to learn about man’s inhumanity and darkness. ...

KC ordinance is a needed tool against bullies — Kansas City Star Editorial

Bradley Manning trial is no precedent — Seattle Times Editorial

Neither the federal government nor a disaffected Army private who disclosed hundreds of thousands of secret files come off well.

With justice to none — Casper Start-Tribune Editorial

The double-speak coming from proponents of a bill to set a maximum amount a wrongfully convicted person could receive from the state is galling. ...

Recalling Nixon’s resignation, nearly 40 years later — David Adler | For The Idaho Statesman

... The announcement rang like a bell, literally. As a college student working as a reporter for my hometown newspaper in Michigan, I was giving my father his first tour of a newsroom. As I opened the large cupboard doors that housed the wire machines of The Associated Press and United Press International, I mentioned that on very rare occasions, bells would ring sounding an alert of a major news story. At that very moment, the bells went off. ...



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