Grand jury powers
EDITOR: The 2013-14 grand jury report doesn’t shrink the understanding of the panel’s investigating power. It is evidenced by the many thorough reports published by past and recent grand juries. We never intended to dismiss or degrade any work done by past grand juries, and I’m not sure why Ellen O’Connor (“Grand jury inquiries,” Letters, Thursday) chose to do so.
We wrote the report to correct a public misconception about the role of the grand jury. Over the past year, the sheriff and the district attorney have repeatedly told the public that the grand jury will get the Andy Lopez reports and do an investigation.
Generally, the grand jury reads and reviews the report from the district attorney and then supports the district attorney’s findings that the protocol was followed, the report was done without bias and that no criminal liability to law enforcement was found.
There has never been another finding since the grand jury started its reviews in 2001.
The task force appointed by the Board of Supervisors is doing its own investigation of the grand jury’s critical-incident reviews, and we wanted to be sure the task force and the public understands the role and limitations of the grand jury.
We are not a civilian review board for many reasons.
Sonoma County civil grand juror, 2013-14
EDITOR: After reading of several incidencts of children and babies dying in cars, I have thought of a means to curb this. However, I do not have the resources or means to implement my idea. I hope car companies will jump in to solve this problem after reading my suggestion.
My idea is installing an alarm in the cars that would be set off by extreme temperatures if movement is detected. Since many cars already have video for going in reverse, I believe this would not be difficult to implement.
I pray someone with the means can help install motion, cry-voice detectors and heat or freezing temperature detectors that set off an alarm that would cause people to come to the rescue.
EDITOR: As a lawyer representing sexual abuse victims, I was appalled at the July 13 article “Reporting rape — and wishing she hadn’t.” This situation is repeated far too frequently.
A sexual-abuse victim who has semen still inside him or her should call the police, first thing, right now. Then call a lawyer. Get protection, then get an advocate. You need protection — from the abuser, from the college and from other people, and you need an advocate who will handle all the people who want to pretend it didn’t happen.
A college is a business. “Party schools” make money. Colleges avoid prosecuting even the most barbaric athletes who bring in big money.
Schools must be made to fear letting sexual abuse go on. Colleges will become safe when college administrators fear the financial cost of drunken sexual abuse. It will not happen until then.
Don’t get mad; get even.
EDITOR: I was in Ramallah when the three Israeli teenagers were abducted in the West Bank. There is no evidence that Hamas was responsible.