Columnist Fred Grimm’s question, “Is a death verdict in the Parkland shooter trial worth the trauma?” (Sentinel of the SunAugust 7) is reasonable.
The newspaper’s accounts of the evidence in the trial (blood and gore, moans of dying students, autopsy photos) border on sensational and are difficult for readers, let alone the survivors of the trial, to process.
Mr. Grimm never answers his own question, probably because it was rhetorical. But the fact that the question can be asked raises questions about American society. This is because there are two culturally rooted causes in the Parkland trial, without which there would be no need for a trial: American penchant for guns and the death penalty. Without them, neither the crime nor the trial would have taken place. Moreover, a sensationalized trial undertaken to determine the fate of a mass murderer may spark similar ambitions among budding copycat shooters seeking notoriety.
I ardently support a free press, but I question the ethics of publishing the details of a bloodthirsty killer’s criminal madness that are so disturbing and unnecessary, with potentially harmful consequences unacknowledged. Although budding adolescent mass shooters are unlikely to read newspapers, the unconscious acceptance of guns and the death penalty by other readers may inadvertently be reinforced by reading such stories.
The newspaper could consider using the Parkland trial as a springboard to publish a debate about the consequences of easy access to guns, the death penalty and exposure to sensational trials.
David G. Perry, Ph.D., Fort Lauderdale
As a Jew, I am deeply offended by Senator Rick Scott’s comparison of the FBI to the Nazi Gestapo, as reported in the August 9 Sun Sentinel. As a resident of the United States and of Florida, I am appalled and troubled that my United States Senator does not understand the difference between democracy and dictatorship. Read your history books, senator, and don’t let politics blind you.
Sivya Romisher, Boca Raton
Once again you printed a letter from Mark Goldstein who said the FBI’s ‘raid’ on Mar-a-Lago is unprecedented and is ‘prompting independents to speak out for Republicans midterm “. It was unprecedented, but Goldstein doesn’t see the forest for the trees. We’ve never had to “raid” a former president’s home because no other president, not even Nixon, has been suspected of having released classified and top secret White House documents – our lodge.
Goldstein makes the erroneous statement that “an unusual number of Democrats are against the raid” and erroneously states that Democrats fear such things could happen to any opponent. All Americans, regardless of party, should be alarmed by the “raid”. It was necessary and it proved once again that Trump was not acting on behalf of the people and disrespecting the Constitution.
Classified, sensitive and top secret documents should not be taken and stored in someone’s home. All Americans should ask themselves why were they taken away? Why was Trump keeping them? What did he intend to do with them? Anyone with common sense knows the answer, which is scary. This is not a Republican versus Democrat question. The “raid” should inflame all American patriots.
Ellen Brown, West palm beach
Many thanks to Davie Police Officer Natalie Benedit for her quick response and genuine concern for me during a time of need on Sunday August 14th.
I had a situation with my car that freaked me out. I called 911, my insurance company and Davie Police and Fire. The officer responded immediately and waited with me and supported me until I got the help I needed. I will never forget her genuine concern and comfort as a caring police officer.
It is reassuring to know that there are still people in the world today who really care. Thank you, Officer Benedit.
Roberta Chaleff, Tamarac