<b>Double jeopardy</b>

EDITOR: How is it that politicians think they have the right to decide who represents the 5th Supervisorial District? Supervisor Efren Carrillo has a constituency. Apparently how his district may decide to vote on him is meaningless to them. So much for democracy. The words "double jeopardy" also come to mind.


Santa Rosa

<b>Ravitch: No pablum</b>

EDITOR: I had the opportunity some time ago to listen to District Attorney Jill Ravitch at a gathering in Petaluma. I don't know her personally, but I came away very impressed by her talk. No political pablum — just a clear testimony of her accomplishments and her plans for Sonoma County.

As a casual observer, I have seen that she has accomplished a great deal since she took office. I don't know her opponent. I do know that certain detractors of our district attorney base their arguments on supposition and statements that reflect a misunderstanding of legal power, duty and obligation to the public at large, especially in the tragic Andy Lopez case.

I'm reminded of the old adage that "justice delayed is justice denied." But I think of a great jurist's words in this case: Learned Hand, a U.S. appellate judge and judicial philosopher, said, "Life is made up of constant calls to action, and we seldom have time for more than hastily contrived answers."

Give Ravitch time to make her decision on the Lopez case. Let's stop making it a political football. Suggesting she is delaying any decision until after the election is, at best, ludicrous.



<b>Closing Palm Drive</b>

EDITOR: I cannot believe that I live in a community that has no hospital and no emergency facility. It is unconscionable that we let this happen.



<b>Let Carrillo do his job</b>

EDITOR: I'm appalled at the finger-pointing hypocrisy of local politicians demanding the head of Supervisor Efren Carrillo. I wonder which of these paragons of virtue defended President Bill Clinton whose actions, in the Oval Office no less, were far more vile, abusive and dishonest.

And which of these highly ethical office holders has never made a bad error in judgment, maybe one that they didn't get nailed for?

In Carrillo's case, he has paid an enormous price in public humiliation, not to mention attorney fees. Since the "incident," he has handled himself with humility and honesty, exactly what we'd all hope to see in ourselves if we got caught having a less than stellar moment.

I know all about public officials being held to a higher standard. That has been the case with Carrillo. If he was just Efren Carrillo and not Supervisor Carrillo, this whole matter would have slipped out of sight with little notice, rather than being front-page news day after day.

Please give this very talented young man a break. Point your fingers at the much greater improprieties that exist in our society and let Carrillo get back to work.


Mendocino County supervisor

<b>Deterrent needed</b>

EDITOR: Forgiveness and compassion are always good. There is nothing to argue about there. But the Efren Carrillo case is about something bigger than Carrillo and his political career.

Men will be men, and boys will be boys. This attitude has prevailed long enough. Abused wives and girlfriends forgive their men and take them back only to be abused again. Politicians who partake in corrupt or salacious behavior are often forgiven. Their careers remain intact.

Not all offenders are men, but the overwhelming number are. Why has sexual molestation been pushed under the rug at universities and military institutions for years?

Now we know it is legal for a man to sneak over to a woman's house, clad only in underwear and socks, knock on her bedroom window at 3:30 a.m., seeking sex with her because he feels all women would enjoy this with wonderful him. Really? An interesting defense that worked. Why?

Be compassionate, but don't accept this kind of behavior. Viable consequences need to be meted out that not only state that certain behavior is unacceptable but that will additionally act as a deterrent.