I respect Carol Atchison’s opinion in regard to the Brandon Thomas verdict, which she expressed in a letter to the editor Wednesday. Ironically, expressing her opinion in such a manner is one of the rights that Thomas has defended through his military service.
I am troubled, however, by Atchison’s assertion that our jurisprudence is a joke. The not- guilty verdict was rendered by six women and six men who heard all the testimony. It is my understanding that, as jurists, these men and women took a solemn oath to base their verdict solely upon the evidence, without prejudice or sympathy toward the defendant or the decedent. They heard the evidence and acquitted Thomas.
In referring to our system as “a joke,” Atchison is, in essence, showing disrespect for the 12 jurors who deliberated. Thomas was tried by a jury of his peers. His peers were able to render a verdict. Regardless of whether or not Ms. Atchison likes the verdict, the system worked. In answer to Atchison’s question, “What is wrong with the system?”, the objective answer is nothing.
So many people were affected by this case; it is a genuine tragedy. Rather than berate those involved in the “system,” why not pray for healing to begin?
Tracy L. Sushel