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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words

December 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM

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The aftermath of a murder

Posted by Letters Editor

Commending The Times’ lengthy coverage of a tragedy

I highly commend The Seattle Times on the in-depth story of Maurice Clemmons [“A path to murder: The story of Maurice Clemmons,” page one, Dec. 6].

These tragic cases are not random, but the result of a person’s upbringing gone very wrong. Rehabilitation is beyond our systems’ capabilities and finances. Punishment appeases the victims, their family and society, and incarceration takes a dangerous person out of circulation for a length of time.

But as this case shows, often damages the person even further. Society feels helpless, but there is information the public should be aware of, and is available only to those who do their homework.

As I read this article, I anguished that Clemmons’ parole officer had not read the work of former parole officer Barbara Reed Stitt. She had an 80 percent nonrepeat offenders record, and used nutrition to balance brain chemistry gone awry with improper diet and lack of nutrients. Also, the work of cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton should be mandatory for anyone involved with children, in any capacity. What he discovered about cellular behavior from environmental stimuli spawned his passion for what he calls conscious parenting.

As a society, we are all responsible to educate ourselves to raise our children more consciously, and have a conscience and compassion toward our fellow man. For a nation that prides itself on scientific achievement, I simply do not understand why guiding scientific evidence has been scoffed at and ignored.

— Julie Craker, Tacoma

New question: How did Clemmons qualify for mortgages?

There are so many failures in this tragic, horrible case. In addition to the legal intricacies around granting bail to a pathological three-strikes criminal, The Times story also raises the question about how a felon with no job and no work history could qualify for mortgages on three homes.

This question is relevant because it was the collateral in this property that allowed Maurice Clemmons to post bail and free himself to commit the murders in the first place.

I would be interested in seeing details of these transactions and what banks saw fit to give money to this man, and on what basis. Undoubtedly it would reinforce my belief that the financial industry in this country deserves none of my support. It might even reveal that shoddy lending practices could be considered an accomplice in these senseless murders.

— Eric Perkunder, Seattle

Reward money should go to lone Seattle officer

Columnist Nicole Brodeur writes that Chrisceda Clemmons should be considered for the $120,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her nephew, cop killer Maurice Clemmons [“No reward for turning in cop killer,” NWTuesday, Dec. 8].

I submit that the Seattle policeman who got Maurice Clemmons off our streets should receive the reward since he took care of the terrible situation. I’m sure his family could use the reward too.

— John Stubb, Kirkland

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