Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 02, 2012 6:30 AM

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Talk of bounties alarming

After reading the column in the March 30 Daily Iowan called "Vigilante Justice," I was shocked and alarmed by the actions taken by the New Black Panther Party, as well as its skewed ideas of justice. I have to say that I was more alarmed that Rebecca Abellera tried to find justification for the New Black Panther's $10,000 bounty on the head George Zimmerman.

I swear the content of the aforementioned article could have been ripped from the headlines of a newspaper in the old West. With all the talk of bounties and folks gathering around the country into what amount to lynch mobs, the old West comes to mind. In several ways, it's as though we've done a full 360-degree turn from a primitive criminal-justice system in the 1800s to another in 2012.

We have since done away with bounties and lynch mobs because, as it turns out, lynch mobs aren't all that fair, and they rush to judgment with only partial facts. Instead, we have trials by jury and due process in our criminal-justice system. We have criminal trials in which both sides get the opportunity to present facts and tell their stories.

If an investigation finds that Zimmerman violated the law, he will be tried by a jury of his peers in a court of law. Until then, we need to return to sanity and leave all of this talk of bounties in the past.

Grant Cornick
Iowa City resident

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