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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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Shame on the judicial system

08/07/2008

 By Marilyn Spaulding and Jennifer Sumner

On July 29, 2008, my family and I appeared in court because of two break-ins within a year to our homes by the same person.

This was the fourth or fifth appearance within 14 months.

Each time before, it was a calendar call for the criminal and then rescheduled for one excuse or another. This was for a change of plea.

Lo and behold, it started as somewhat a trial without a jury unbeknown to us. They had brought half the local townspeople, neighbors and longtime residents, as witnesses for the defendant. These were neighbors, friends of my mom and dad whom my family worked, played and went to school with. My parents helped some of them in farming for years and they were testifying in favor of the defendant and his actions. This was all through the efforts of his attorney over the last 14 months and his counseling.

The defendant has files going back over six years of felonies for breaking and entering homes around The Valley and Vermont, for stealing prescription drugs along with being fired from a reputable business.

Because of those who defended him he was not sent to jail for his actions and he pleaded guilty to everything.

I have been supporting myself for 23-plus years on one income and providing a roof over my head with heat in the cold of winter. His family and friends think he has to support them with firewood to heat all their houses.

I hope all you who testified can sleep at night with a clean conscience and know that you have allowed yet another criminal out on the streets. This sets a fine example to his kids and all his nephews and nieces as well as all your grandkids.

Instead of supporting the victims, which may be you at sometime in your life, you are now supporting the criminals and all the crimes going on in Vermont and this country.

I hope you and your loved ones never have to experience what our families have, thanks to the judicial system, the lawyers around this area and the state of Vermont by not following the laws.

Shame on you and shame on the courts for letting yet another criminal walk away -- protecting the guilty.
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