District attorney's stance on Pacherille is confusing

On Oct. 15, The Daily Star's headline read, "Pacherille trial postponed; plea possible." There were several points in the article that bothered me greatly.

Firstly, the district attorney states he is taking into consideration the boy's age and other extenuating circumstances. In effect, the DA recognizes this is a child with mental illness.

In the next sentence, however, Muehl states he demands a significant prison sentence. Something does not add up here. If the DA admits this is a sick child, why does he demand a long prison term? He is contradicting himself. It appears that, as the facts of this case emerge, the DA's case is withering. Nevertheless, this DA seems determined to make his career by destroying a sick child.

Secondly, the DA states his evidence is strong. Yet most of The Daily Star's article causes me to question Muehl's position. Police Officer Covert admits he did not read the boy his rights. A mentally ill child shoots himself in the head with a rifle, he is handcuffed and taken into custody, and he is not read his rights. How strong is this evidence? And yet the DA seeks blood.

Thirdly, I am confused about the relationship between the DA and the Lippitt family. The article states Muehl left the courthouse to confer with the family. I thought the DA represents all of the people of the state. This, presumably, creates fairness in criminal cases, not vengeance. But The Daily Star's article paints an image of the DA working for a single family. This relationship appears too cozy. Does the DA know this family personally?

Most of a DA's work is done out of the limelight. This high-profile case has shed light on this county's district attorney. Sadly, he appears self-serving and cold-hearted.

Paul Kellogg

Maryland

American-made goods don't have to be hard to find

A recent JC Penney holiday catalog arrived at my house the other day, and while perusing it I noticed none of the items listed the country in which they were made. Being curious, I called the company, and was told at first that if no country is listed, the product was American-made.

After questioning the accuracy of this, I was told that when I ordered an item, they would tell me if it was imported. Doubting this also, I suggested it might be easier for the shopper if they just included that information in the ad. The company representative then revealed that if I went to its website (www.jcp.com) and typed in the search bar "items made in America," it would show me the products Penney's sells which were manufactured or assembled in the USA.

Being curious, I tried this and to my great surprise I learned that of the tens of thousands of items they sell, exactly two are American-made. This is not just a Penney's problem, as a search of the LL Bean website yielded only 145 American-made items _ none of which was clothing.

Here's a suggestion. This Christmas, try to only give gifts made in America. Stores like the Artisans' Guild in Oneonta, craft fairs as well as locally made maple syrup, cheeses, New York and California wines, gift certificates to local restaurants, theaters, beauty salons, etc., make excellent choices. It's not impossible to do.

Let's all help to keep some jobs in the local area and in the USA by buying local and American made goods. I think both Democrats and Republicans could agree on this.

Lyle R. Chastaine

Stamford

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