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Originally published March 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 25, 2008 at 12:09 PM


Letters to the Editor

A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

Cruel inventions

Once stolen, a man's virtue cannot be restored

Editor, The Times:

Katherine M. Clifton pleaded guilty to making a false rape accusation against a college professor ["Woman pleads guilty to false rape report," Times, Local News, March 19]. Clifton was sentenced to 365 days with 357 suspended, to pay a $5,000 fine, with $4,750 suspended, and pay the victim's attorney fees.

The professor whom Clifton falsely accused had been charged with first-degree rape and burglary. Prosecutors in his case asked for $500,000 bail, noting the professor was "an extreme threat to the victim and the community."

The professor served nine days in jail and was suspended from his job, even though there was no evidence to support Clifton's accusations.

Like the Duke University lacrosse team members' case and many others, the victim faced years of imprisonment, while the perpetrator faced little more than a minor rebuke. In no other scenario are perpetrators more lightly sanctioned when their victims suffer life-altering abuse.

Instead, malicious and premeditated false accusers should suffer the maximum sentence their victim could have received if convicted. Most such accusations will then stop.

The notion that punishing false accusers will stifle legitimate victim complaints is ideologically driven, hyperbolic conjecture.

King County District Court Judge Peter Nault and others like him should be removed from the bench if they continue to coddle perpetrators like Clifton.

Nault should have been more concerned about making the victim whole rather than chivalrously kowtowing to political correctness and Clifton's rationalizations.

Justice, or the lack thereof, should not be gender-specific.

— Harry Crouch, president, National Coalition of Free Men; founder/director, California Men's Centers; secretary/treasurer, Children's Rights Initiative for Sharing Parents Equally, San Diego, Calif.

Rhymes with equality

Eyes on the bias

The press is all about Sen. Barack Obama's speech addressing racism in America ["Obama's minister's remarks won't fade," page one, March 21]. We need to thank Geraldine Ferraro for opening this debate ["Racial overtones rumble in campaign," News, March 13]. Instead, the press roundly chastised her for bringing up the subject.

Doesn't the press (or the Democratic National Committee) think the Republican Party will ask these questions in open debate come October?

Ferraro brought up two subjects in her discredited interview. One was racism, the other was sexism. She asked if Obama would be where he is if he weren't black. She also stated that she would not have been selected to run as vice president [with Walter Mondale in 1984] if she weren't a woman.

While I have not heard, "I am not going to vote for that ("N-word"), I have heard "I am not going to vote for that ("B-word").

Isn't it time the press opened that other topic of debate — sexism in America?

Thank you, Ms. Ferraro.

— Michael Santangelo, Mercer Island

While you were leeping around your wife stabilized the victims

How arrogant of Susan Nielsen to think she knows how Silda Wall Spitzer should act ["Take it like a man and leave the wife at home," guest commentary, March 14].

Does Nielsen really think that it was New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's decision to have his wife Silda by his side beforeo the cameras? Give her more credit than that.

What Nielsen and her cohort have lost sight of is the complexity of the wife's situation. She is first lady and wife, yes, but she is also a mother. What she is teaching her children in these difficult times is her most important consideration, and she is teaching them that we don't abandon the people we love in hard times, we don't run from controversy, and we don't rage in public.

Regardless of how awful his actions are, Eliot Spitzer is still her children's father, and how she deals with this will affect them for the rest of their lives.

— Catherine Adams, Lake Forest Park

The one you could've wed managed your pain

If Eliot Spitzer had me for a wife, he would have been giving his resignation from a hospital bed!

— Lenora Rohde, Shoreline

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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