Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, December 09, 2002

False information, gossip unfairly prejudice Starkweather case

I have kept quiet long enough. I can no longer stand back. I am sure this is one of many cases this is happening to.

I have lived in this community for 36 years. I faithfully read the Peninsula Clarion. I see pictures on the front page with the wrong name and wrong information on the community page. I can understand an occasional mistake.

What I recently witnessed from a Clarion reporter is downright wrong. Since when does our community allow a reporter to report blatant misinformation from our courts? Since when can a Clarion reporter report courtroom happenings when he is not even present? Since when is someone guilty before proven so? I have already been ashamed of how this community has prejudged Justin Starkweather in the well-known case in our small town. I personally have sat in on the court dates and invite each of you to do so.

Gossip only hurts families. It is not my job as a person in our community to judge. If I was to be on a jury then I must make certain decisions from the facts. How can people keep gossiping and hurt a family so? Do those of you that gossip not realize there are other family members? This family has to live in this "not so super" community. What happened to the place I grew up in? What happened to asking questions instead of making accusations?

The Clarion reporter not only was not in the courtroom, but he misstated things that were clearly stated in the courtroom for anyone in our community to hear. This is open court, see for yourself.

If you find you must make a judgment and gossip, please go hear the truth -- the facts that are there and the supposed "facts" that are NOT!

We must stop hurting our long-time community "family." We must stand up and help our police so that they can make sure the right people are behind bars in a timely manner and help our community to truly be safe. I personally will stand up for anyone who is wronged ... will you?

Jan Kay, Soldotna

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