Regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s claim of assault by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the offenses talked about seem to be that it was sexual assault or attempted rape. I am not a lawyer but have 33 years of law enforcement experience. There is also implied in the allegation the offense of kidnapping, at least if the incident had occurred today in Minnesota and if Ford’s description is accurate.
In Minnesota, kidnapping (Minnesota Statutes 609.25) includes confining another for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a felony — in this case second-degree criminal sexual conduct (609.343).
I don’t know what the law regarding kidnapping was in Maryland 36 years ago, or its statute of limitations then, but had the alleged incident occurred today in Minnesota, and because Ford was then under the age of 16, Kavanaugh, if convicted, could be sentenced to 40 years in prison. The sexual conduct offense could add another 25 years, as a conviction for kidnapping does not bar a conviction for other crimes committed. Such a criminal charge against a 17-year-old could be, and might well be, tried in adult court.
I bring all this up to emphasize the seriousness of the offense stated by Ford, and in the hope that any confirmation hearing will be delayed pending a thorough FBI investigation.
Jerry Dhennin, Minneapolis
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“No one loves the messenger who brings bad news,” especially King Creon in Antigone, Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, and President Donald Trump. Let’s not have an investigation to find the truth; let’s blame the messenger, Christine Blasey Ford, for bringing the message. Nothing has changed since Sophocles wrote the above-quoted words in 441 BC.
Kathy Sevig, Eden Prairie
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Is it really that difficult for Republicans to find a moderately conservative nominee for the Supreme Court that at least nine Democrats could support? Otherwise we could have a Supreme Court justice nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by 3 million votes and confirmed only by Republican senators who represent just 44 percent of the U.S. population. Seems like a lifetime appointment should require majority approval.
President Barack Obama, who won by 10 million (2008) and 5 million (2012) popular votes, nominated moderately liberal justices who received nine Republican votes (Sotomayor) and five Republican votes (Kagan), so it can be done.
Tim Bardell, St. Louis Park
Abolish? An excellent goal that local group has been pursuing
I enthusiastically applaud the Sept. 15 editorial “Abolish nuclear weapons? Idealistic. Worthy,” which strongly advocates completely eliminating these doomsday devices before any of them (if detonated) can end all life on our planet. When the United Nations voted last year for a treaty that is intended to achieve this objective, the concept of attaining total eradication moved much closer to reality. (More countries must still ratify the treaty to have the force of international law.)
I also agree with the editorial that it is necessary to get ordinary “citizens [involved who] can change the future” — involved in this cause, collectively, “press[ing] lawmakers to strengthen existing arms-control agreements with Russia, re-engage diplomacy with Iran, and … commit to ... eventually abolishing nuclear weapons” (i.e., strongly advocate for the U.N. treaty).
We in a local peace group (Women Against Military Madness, WAMM) have been active in a prescribed grass-roots effort toward eventually banning nuclear weapons. For the past two years we have been collecting petition signatures, which are directed at the Minnesota congressional delegation, asking members to support the treaty. So far we have collected more than 14,000 signatures from almost 500 cities and towns in Minnesota. And numerous more to come. We are among many around the world who continually strive to help in trying to save the world from annihilation.
Bill Adamski, Minneapolis
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Trust the likes of Russia, China and North Korea, or all the other nuclear or “wannabe” nuclear nations (France, England, Pakistan, India, Israel, Iran and, yes, the U.S.) to denuclearize?
You did intend to publish this editorial back on April 1, didn’t you?
Walt Kilmanas, Minnetrista
Security changes didn’t happen, but stadiums were raised quickly
On Sept. 13, the school that I work at, Brooklyn Middle School, and our adjacent high school, Park Center, were put on lockdown. A threat was phoned in to the Brooklyn Center Police Department stating that an unspecified act of violence would take place. I am very grateful that everyone was safe and that nothing violent happened. I would like to tell you about what it feels like to be in a school with 1,100 children who have just realized that this was not a drill anymore. Stuff got real.
Do you know what I immediately noticed when returning to school this year? No improved safety measures — not one thing. No bullet-resistant glass on the first floor. No metal detectors. No extra security for the first-floor doors. No extra security staff. Why can we fund a billion-dollar Minnesota Vikings stadium and a $555 million Twins stadium — in record time — and we can’t get money to make our schools safer?
I do not consider it a privilege to die at school. How many more students and staff are going to be slaughtered before something is done to protect us? It is utterly shameful that we make professional sports stadiums a priority and we do nothing to protect the staff and students at our schools. Please, somebody help us.
Karen Carlson, Maple Grove
PROMOTING CHILDHOOD LITERACY
Good-news Gophers: Players set the best of examples
Wow! In the midst of all the tragedies, gun violence and hatred that surround us every day — what a treat it was to read about the University of Minnesota basketball players taking time out of their busy schedules to reach out to schoolchildren (“Helping young readers aim high,” Sept. 15). By spending time and reading to these third-graders, these young men are providing a positive role model that will be remembered by these children for life.
You two gentlemen — Jarvis Omersa and Jarvis Johnson — have provided a light in the darkness. I’ve always believed we have two choices in life — create or destroy. Mr. Omersa and Mr. Johnson and have made the positive choice.
Kay Kemper, Crystal
MINNEAPOLIS PARK BOARD PAY
Which principle prevails?
As a former superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, I am dismayed by the proposal to increase commissioner compensation by 250 percent. It is wrong on many levels. Let me cite two.
Foremost, this would divert much-needed financial resources from the more important necessities of the system: kids, forestry and clean water.
Second, it contradicts the long-held concept of serving to give back to your community, not for monetary gain. The notion that more money will attract “better” candidates is absurd. In the past we have had numerous commissioners with limited financial means do an outstanding job.
In fact, one could make a strong argument that current compensation is overly generous. Commissioners currently receive about $1,000 per month and benefits (health coverage). For this they attend, on average, three meetings a month. It should also be noted the elected Board of Estimate and Taxation receives $35 per meeting.
Clearly, this group of commissioners has gone beyond the “Our Revolution” concept to a new mantra of “More For Me.”
Jon Gurban, Minnetonka