01/27/2011: "LETTERS ON DISSMISAL OF RAPE CHARGES"
(Editor's note: The following letters are in response to a report) in the Island Guardian that was based on a press release from Mr. Gaylord's office)
To the Editor:
RANDY GAYLORD: SHAME ON YOU for continuing to prosecute someone in the media after the case against him was dismissed! Your innuendos against the young Orcas man in the dismissed rape case, are reprehensible. You knew you couldn't win in court - "stay with the case" as you called it in your statement - so now you're getting your licks in from another direction.
I am a former San Juan County Juvenile Probation Counselor with four decades of experience working with young people behind me. I also have personal knowledge that the former accused young man is innocent of wrong-doing. In fact, he is the real victim here, of false accusations made against him.
I notice your statement didn't mention the plea bargain you offered the young man, a lesser misdemeanor charge without the word 'rape' attached. Could it be because he turned down your wonderful offer? The fact that he would rather face all the uncertainties of a courtroom that just might lead to a prison sentence rather than admit even to a misdemeanor he didn't commit, with far fewer consequences, must have stopped you dead in your tracks: within 24 hours of his refusal of your "offer," the young man was told the rape case itself was dismissed!!
Truth has a way of coming out sooner or later. The young man has absolutely nothing to fear from that. In fact, he welcomes it. Ironically, he is the only person in this morass of misconduct who "stayed with the case." His account never varied, and he stood firm in his innocence, while you and your team bent and manipulated the truth until what you built collapsed beneath you. There was no case for you to “stay with.”
I will admit you took on a tough job, artistically speaking. You tried to spin gold out of a bunch of straw - spending lots of county money and using its resources along the way.
Reader, you had better pray that neither you nor your husbands nor your sons ever cross paths with a person like the one Randy Gaylord calls "brave" and "strong." Once again, SHAME ON YOU for trying to implicate the young man you weren't able to mount a case against.
Formerly of Eastsound
To the Editor:
While it is common for prosecutor’s offices to release press notices excusing a dismissal or lost case, San Juan County prosecutors have refined this behavior to an art. Whether it is taxpayer money spent on an out of court financial settlement because of wrongful arrests or justifying a false accusation that had no basis in fact, our prosecutor’s office has become an out of control power with virtually no oversight. Because the prevalence of prosecutorial abuse is a nationwide problem, organizations such as The Justice Project in Washington DC are calling for investigations and accountability. The Justice Project states…..
“Recent studies reveal that prosecutorial misconduct is a systemic reality within the criminal justice system. In 2003, a study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity found that prosecutorial misconduct was a factor in dismissed charges, reversed convictions, or reduced sentences in at least, 2,012 cases since 1970. In 28 of those cases, involving 32 separate defendants, prosecutorial misconduct led to the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals”
Make no mistake, readers. When the prosecutor’s office dismisses a case it is because they had no evidence to proceed and most likely had no evidence to begin with. Why then would they charge a person wrongfully? They have nothing to lose. A case won is justification for state money, kudos for the prosecutor and further entrenchment of their power. A case lost is excused by the prosecutor’s office. That taxpayer dollars were needlessly spent is of no consequence to them. Even less important is truth or reason. Political cronies making back room deals are the norm.
Most of us have lives that are full of family, work and community interests and have no time for a nebulous claim of injustice in our county justice system. My family was just like yours, until we were forced to the realization of a corruption beyond our imaginations. As Edmond Burke once stated “For evil to triumph, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing”.