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Death in despair
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Alleged cop killer Matthew Stewart hangs self in jail cell" (Tribune, May 26):

Matt Stewart died in despair. Though he had a reasonable and plausible defense, he recognized that our warped legal system did not offer him much of a chance.

Stewart's violent reaction to a group of armed men breaking into his home at night was sadly all too predictable. Isn't self-defense reason No. 1 given to explain Utah's bizarre love affair with guns?

The SWAT raid was completely unnecessary. No evidence has emerged to suggest that anything bad was about to happen. One wonders what in the world law enforcement — cops, prosecutors and judges — were thinking.

The prosecutor who requested the raid needs to provide an explanation. Judges need to require a credible and imminent threat before approving such raids. Their actions needlessly endangered the lives of everyone, including the slain police officer.

Finally, our society needs to grow up with regard to drugs, especially marijuana. The war on drugs has been an utter failure, wasting billions of dollars and ruining or ending tens of thousands of lives.

It's time to declare victory and bring the cops home to do what they are supposed to do — protect and serve.

Steve Russell


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