By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
WILL: IT WAS REALLY NOTHING
[In regards to Nick Schou's Feb. 1 open letter, "Fire at Will," to Huntington Beach Chief of Police Kenneth Small, concerning the police shooting of Ashley MacDonald, a suicidal teenager shot 15 times.]
Until [Nick Schou] puts his feet in the shoes of a police officer and faces what they face on a daily basis, I can only suggest he keep his big mouth shut and opinions to himself. There is zero credibility in an idiotic statement from someone who was not there and has never been in that type of situation—and can I assume no military background as well!
BIG, BIG LOVE
[The following letters are in regard to Theo Douglas' Feb. 22 story, "Eight is Enough," on an Irvine man with four unknowing girlfriends and eight children.]
Fortunately for the rest of mankind, no one will read your pathetic and stereotypical excuse for an article. The sheer fact that you would even associate Utah with an article that has to do with a four-girlfriend-man completely validates your ignorance and lack of any type of reporting skills. Next time before you try and make a witty point—God forbid for all of our sakes you never try again—make sure to at least have some sort of idea about life. Your reference to Utah as being the only place in the world that this inconceivable idea could ever occur makes you look like an uneducated fool. But, judging by how you write and what it is you write for, that claim can be now and forever held as truth. Keep trying to appease America by writing stupid, uninformative and worthless articles—and if for nothing else, to prove the importance for all Americans to stay away from this publication and the OC in general.
["Eight is Enough"] was totally well-written and it got me so angry after I read it! I am so enraged that this could happen here in Orange County, let alone in California! I really believe that there needs to be state and national attention brought about this horrid and disgusting man! I am now thinking that perhaps we're lulled into a false sense of security living here in Orange County . . . that nothing bad could possibly happen to us. I feel so badly for those women . . . truly I do. This story needs MORE attention, please do more to bring this story to the headlines where it belongs! This should not happen here in California, let alone the USA!
JUNK ON THE TRUNK
You hit it right on the nail [Vickie Chang's "Trendzilla," Feb. 22]—that Juicy crap plastered on anyone's ass is wrong on so many levels! It is absolutely pathetic that any self-respecting individual who would consider themselves to have at least 1/8 of a brain would dress in that type of junk. Unfortunately, all too often we see the products of a society that is all too concerned with pop and fluff and not with substance in our lives.
I don't know why you assume men came up with the idea; I think girls are just trying harder and harder to look sexier than the next—and if they can't, then they try to draw attention to their major assets. It was probably one of those "skinny bitches" you referred to that came up with it in order to make men do what they want to do by keeping the attention on their asses.
PANIC AT THE COURTHOUSE
[The following two letters concern R. Scott Moxley's Jan. 18 story, "Gay Panic," in which three men robbed and attempted to kill dentist Paul Janosik. The lawyer for defendant Antonio Coyazo sought a not guilty verdict and utilized Janosik's homosexuality as a line of attack during the trial.]
As both the defense lawyer for Mr. Coyazo and an admirer of Mr. Moxley's work, I am incredibly disappointed with his article. Mr. Moxley misunderstands and mischaracterizes the arguments I made on behalf of my client. By repeatedly referring to "them" and what "they" did, Mr. Moxley falls right into the trap laid by DAs throughout the courthouse on a daily basis, where jurors are asked to hold young defendants, usually brown or black, responsible not for their own actions but for the actions of others. The facts of this case were that Mr. Coyazo never held the gun, never fired the gun, told the police that he was unaware of the presence of the gun until it was produced by Mr. Cordon, did not shoot Mr. Janosik, and was not even in the immediate area of the shooting. The district attorney conceded as much, but wanted jurors to hold Mr. Coyazo responsible for the actions of the shooter, using a variety of legal theories. Because of this, I was forced to attempt to offer an explanation of the intent and actions of Mr. Conroy, who was already convicted of doing the shooting. One argument was that the shooting occurred as a result of the circumstances of the encounter rather than as a result of premeditation and deliberation. With this in mind, it was relevant that Mr. Janosik, who was substantially older than any of the defendants, voluntarily placed himself into a car with these young men with the intent of engaging in a random exploitative sex act. Mr. Coyazo did not consent to this, and when he was touched by Mr. Janosik in a suggestive and non-consensual way, he withdrew. The purpose of me pointing out that straight young men in our homophobic society sometimes take violent offense when physically propositioned by gay men was not to condone that behavior, which is also unacceptable, but to point out to the jury that the actions of the victim in this case had an impact on the intentions of Mr. Cordon such that Mr. Coyazo, who never personally assaulted the victim, should not be held responsible for his inflamed, unpredictable behavior. Fortunately, the jury was able to understand this, while simultaneously convicting Mr. Coyazo of the other crimes to which he admitted and which I conceded in my argument. At sentencing, I did not "attack" Mr. Janosik. In fact, throughout the proceedings I expressed compassion for the terrible trauma suffered by Mr. Janosik; however, at sentencing, it was my job to point out that this young man, who had never been convicted of any crime, who had developed a strong Christian faith, who had family support, who had fully cooperated with the proceedings, and expressed remorse for his involvement, didn't deserve to die in prison because somebody else shot Mr. Janosik. The real story here, which I might suggest for a future story, is how little a young person has to actually do these days to receive a sentence of life in prison.
Mr. Bercher tries to claim his client was convicted based on his race and youth. The truth of the matter is that DAs throughout the courthouse ask jurors to hold defendants accountable for their actions within the meaning of California Law, regardless of their age or color.
California codes and case law have specifically spelled out that those who aid and abet or act in concert when committing a crime will be responsible for the actions of the principal perpetrator. The law officially recognizes common sense that individuals are less likely to follow through with intended criminal conduct when they are acting alone.
It is sad that the defense chose to focus on the victim's sexual orientation—that somehow the crime was justified because the victim was gay. His argument that the victim somehow provoked his attempted murder is insulting to all races, homosexual or heterosexual. My heart still goes out to the victim and his family for their ongoing victimization. It is sad the defense is continuing to use sexual orientation to give meaning or understanding to cold, callous conduct of cold-blooded killers. In looking at this crime, we should remember the victim, not the abhorrent conduct of these individuals who pretend to be changed once they have been caught for their crimes.
Deputy District Attorney
NEW CAR, CAVIAR, FOUR-STAR DREAM
Once again, I wanted to thank you for this article [Gustavo Arellano's "McKnight Fall," Jan. 26] and others that have shed light on the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. I was abused in the '70s while attending a Catholic high school in LA. My abuser started grooming me in my last year of grade school and became my freshman religion teacher as well as my basketball coach.
Name withheld by request
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Last week's letter by Richard Kun, president of Big Bear Mountain Resorts, was edited for space. But Matt Coker's response to that letter made references to points by Kun that were edited out. You can read Kun's entire letter at www.ocweekly.com/columns/letters/letters/26783/.