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Letter to the editor: Remember lawyers' roles in legal cases

I'm not clear why local judge Galler chose to write a Bulletin Viewpoint defending the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. But it seems there are a growing number of attorneys and courtroom analysts who believe that local Florida police, and the prosecution, deliberately threw away the case because they didn't want Zimmerman convicted.

Judge Galler's respect for juries is encouraging. However, he says "Jurors receive information directly and unfiltered." Surely he can't mean that. Isn't it the "name of the game" for each side to filter, or exclude, any evidence unfavorable to their client? That's what attorneys get paid for. I recall one local high-profile case that centered on DNA evidence (relatively new at the time). Every person in this area who was paying attention to news reports ended up better informed about the accuracy of DNA matching than the jury did, because such testimony was kept from them. Because of that, the accused walked free - and his attorney received a lot of acclaim.

Juries have to deal with what they're given. If the prosecution or defense is incompetent, or worse, then justice will not be done - no matter how conscientious the jury is.

Carol Turnbull - Woodbury

What about alcohol-related fatalities?

According to the article submitted by the commissioner of Public Safety ("Minnesota's traffic fatality trend must be reversed," Aug. 7), there have been more than 200 traffic deaths in Minnesota this year and this total will most likely reach 450 by the end of 2013. What the commissioner didn't tell us was how many of these deaths were alcohol related. When are we going to address this problem? How many innocent people have to die? Do we only become concerned when we lose a sibling, a parent, spouse or one of our children? Can our state legislators deal with this or is all of their work time used for budget issues?

Consider a plan like this; for a first offense (DWI) a person would have his/her license suspended for one year, second offense would mean losing your license for five years, driving without a license would mean jail time of a year. If this sounds harsh, talk to someone who had to bury a loved one, or someone whose life is forever changed because of a serious injury caused by someone who chose to drive impaired. Let's try this type of plan for a few years and see how many lives can be saved. People who want to consume alcohol can make a choice to have someone else drive or simply drink at home.

Carol Olson - Woodbury