I wanted to thank the Star Tribune for the fifth installment of its “Denied Justice” series — “Rejected by the prosecution” (Oct. 21), which reported that in Minnesota, half of sexual-assault cases that police send to prosecutors never result in charges.
As a victim/survivor of sexual assault myself, that report confirms what I always have believed, even though more women are starting to speak out about their own sexual-assault and misconduct encounters. I also have to admit after reading the heartbreaking stories that were featured, I am now in a place of realization that there is no justice now, nor will there be in the future for victims. If there are cases that involve direct DNA that cannot lead to conviction, then how does that convince any of us to come forward? No one except the victims understand the emotions we go through after a horrendous encounter. The first emotion I had was that it was my fault, and I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. I have had multiple sexual assaults and harassment from men/boys that started at the age of 11 through my adult life. Not once did I move forward with accusations, because I knew then and know now that the burden of proof lies with me. My word over my attacker, who it seems in the scope of things has more rights than I do. It would end up just causing me more pain to report it.
The most disheartening lesson that I have learned after reading those women’s stories is what we might be signaling to the men who choose to engage in criminal behavior against women. Men have a green light to attack and harass because the statistics state that only 7 percent of the accused end up being convicted here in Minnesota. If it happens in the workplace, at least women can report to the human resources department, and if women band together, at the very least they could get the person fired. Fired, yes, but convicted, no.
Can we learn anything from these stories and from our own experiences? Will anything ever change for the victims in our society? I think we all know the answer to that, especially after watching the results of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Silence may be golden, except to all of us who have endured and survived. Our only recourse is to seek private counseling, confide in our closest family and friends for support, and hopefully not suffer in silence.
Debbie Anthony, Coon Rapids
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Sunday’s front-page photo should be framed and hung in Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s office as daily reminder of injustice he gave to a 13-year-old child who had been raped. Two men arrested as their DNA matched samples found on the teenager’s underwear. Mr. Choi said she gave “conflicting versions” of what happened, so that made it unlikely they would win at trial. She was a child! She was scared! She was embarrassed! She was traumatized! Not enough evidence? Their matching DNA?? Shame on Choi. Give a jury a chance. That’s enough evidence for me to vote a resounding “guilty” if chosen for that case. Review the case again, and this time do the right thing — have the case proceed.
Barbara Nylen, Minneapolis
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I am outraged at the extreme power that prosecutors have over people’s lives. It is clear from this article and many others that a prosecutor is really judge and jury and that a prosecutor’s decision to prosecute or not is highly subjective. Given that awesome power, no single person should ever be put in that position or allowed to be in that position; rather, there should be a committee of, for example, three to five people who independently judge whether a case is prosecutable. This is just common sense, the same logic that society uses in every other situation where subjective judgment is used: court trials, peer review of scientific articles, beauty contests, lawmaking, etc. Thank you for making that so very clear with this article, another good reason for continuing to read newspapers.
Lucyan Mech, St. Paul
HENNEPIN COUNTY RACES
Editorial Board’s endorsements seem rather oblivious to news
The Star Tribune Editorial Board should consider reading the Star Tribune before making its endorsements. If the board had heeded the Strib’s multipart series on the systemic failure of local law enforcement to handle sex crimes, it might not have endorsed for county attorney the man who has run that failed system for 19 of the last 27 years (“Value experience in county races,” Oct. 24). In its Hennepin County sheriff endorsement (“Return incumbents as top county cops,” Oct. 25), the board might have benefited from reading the Strib’s coverage of the incumbent sheriff’s son, who used a campaign phone to solicit sex from a 13-year-old (“Sheriff Stanek’s son gets 90 days for soliciting sex,” June 8). The board might also have found the Strib’s coverage of community uproar over the sheriff sending deputies and resources to fight water protectors at Standing Rock enlightening. The Strib newsroom has done an admirable job covering these local issues. It is a shame the Editorial Board hasn’t been paying attention.
Chris Evans, Maple Grove
U.S. SENATE RACE
Vote for Newberger if you see through Democrats, value Trump
Like every other newspaper editorial board’s taking orders from the Democrat National Committee, the Star Tribune’s has chosen Democrat Amy Klobuchar over Jim Newberger for the Senate. Klobuchar portrays herself as a reasonable and fair moderate who takes after her father, Jim. However, that’s a fake-news portrait.
Look at how Klobuchar treated Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation process. She enthusiastically joined up with the Democratic mob attacking him, slandering him as a drunk who doesn’t remember his drunken escapades. What an outrage for her to besmirch the reputation of a truly honorable judge for whom everyone who knows him well praises his morality, integrity and sobriety! It’s obvious that she will stoop to any level to try to stop Trump and the Trump agenda.
Klobuchar is just another Democrat radical who marches to the mindless Democratic drumbeat of opposition to every productive policy the Trump administration advances for the good of America. Vote for her and you vote against the prosperity that President Donald Trump is bringing to America. Vote for her and you vote to bring back higher taxes, unemployment, economic stagnation, Obamacare, open borders, alien invasions, coddling of sanctuary cities, gun restrictions, global-warming hysteria, Democratic political scandals, persecution of Christians, opening up women’s locker rooms to male degenerates, bad trade deals, back door collusion with Russia, and aid and comfort to the socialist dictatorships of the world. Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters and our own Keith Ellison would be very happy to see you vote for Amy Klobuchar.
Here’s some better advice for you. If you like what Trump has accomplished in his first two years and want to see more, vote for Republican Jim Newberger for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. Jim’s career as a paramedic showed that he works to save lives, not destroy them — like Klobuchar tried to do to Judge Kavanaugh. He will help President Trump keep the prosperity-and-justice train rolling in America.
Paul Lysen, Annandale, Minn.
If cost savings are necessary, then consider these changes instead
I totally agree with the Oct. 24 letter writer who found the Sunday comics in their new format “almost unreadable.” Having cheerfully read the Star Tribune’s comics since the 1950s, I was distressed to find most in new locations and crammed in awkwardly between other strips. While I appreciate the inclusion of all the comics — while observing the loss of the center page — I find the resulting comic section to be disappointing. Guessing that the Star Tribune needs to cut costs, I have three suggestions:
1) Go back to the previous six-page section, but go to black-and-white to save money. We live from Monday through Saturday with black-and-white cartoons. Hey — we could color these, since you also eliminated the artistic design from the top of the back page, which we were meant to color.
2) Refine your present plan: Shrink simple, one-panel cartoons instead of so drastically shrinking and cramming multi-image panels.
3) Cut a cartoon’s title panel if it does not affect that day’s story line. We counted about 20 of these, of various sizes, in Sunday’s paper, many of which were small enough to keep, but some, like “Dilbert,” took up four panels worth of space! Surely the names of the cartoon and cartoonist could be incorporated in the cartoon itself. Fans of a particular strip will surely find it.
Diane E. Pietrs, St. Paul
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Please don’t print those tiny Sunday comics again. They are smaller than the daily comics and nearly impossible to read. Most of your readers are of an age where we need larger print, not smaller. Please respect that need.
Ginni Arons, Minneapolis