Kudos for stance on ‘stand your ground’ law
Kudos to Pete Mazzaccaro for your on-target July 18 article, “A law that creates vigilantes.” I believe your article is the best I’ve read to date that explains a rationale for the jury’s shocking (wrongful) acquittal of unprovoked 210-pound George Zimmerman’s stalking, confronting and shooting of an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.
It happened while he was walking home, but who was forced to defend himself by fighting for his life with a much heavier and armed aggressor, George Zimmerman. A murder was committed here!
I believe the jury may have erred in its interpretation of the trial judge’s 16-page instructions to the jury regarding the defense lawyer’s “self defense” plea. I am not a lawyer, but it seems plain to me, as you pointed out in your article, that George Zimmerman was not defending his home or property. Clearly, George Zimmerman was the assailant and unlawful threat to Trayvon Martin, not the reverse.
Therefore, I do not agree that the jury reached its conclusion fairly. As you stated, “That an unarmed boy can be gunned down lawfully without consequences is shocking.” It would not surprise me if a mistrial is declared, or should be declared, politics notwithstanding. Perhaps the trial judge’s 16-page instructions to the jury should be examined. Was it biased for acquittal?
I do agree with you that some justice may be obtained with a successful, civil wrongful death suit and/or a federal civil rights conviction. I understand 30 other states have similar “stand your ground laws,” so their elimination will take some doing.
Joseph C. Wylie
Don’t let ideology get in the way of health care
Dear Governor Corbett,
As members of a group that understands everyone needs affordable health care, we have been dismayed that you are rejecting the Medicaid expansion money that the Affordable Care Act makes available.
The Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation concludes “There is strong empirical evidence that “opting out” of expansion will have many negative implications not only for individual and public health outcomes, but also for state fiscal stability. In other words, expanding Medicaid to residents with incomes up to 133 percent FPL is in every state’s interest. While political battles loom large in the coming months, states will benefit from analyzing the actual costs and benefits of the Medicaid expansion making an informed decision that serves states’ residents at large.”
A number of Republican governors who gave the plan a second look, decided benefits to their citizens and budgets outweighed their feelings about the Obama plan. They understood that while one argument against it is that eventually the states will be left with an obligation, the federal government promises to pay 100 percent of the expansion for the first three years, with the federal share eventually dropping to 90-93 percent.
This will mean that for no extra expense at first and then for rather little money considering the gain, many human beings will be covered against ravaging illness, infant and maternal mortality, and even death for rather little money.
We implore you not to put ideological concerns ahead of the wellbeing of the people of the state of Pennsylvania.
Linda Hunt Beckman