Justice system failed in preventing death of teen
All I can say is what a tragedy in regards to the death of Chaz Black.
In 2009, the taxi driver was lucky he wasn't stabbed to death. In 2010, someone in the crowd was lucky they weren't shot to death over Deionta Hayes' actions.
I cringed while reading in the article that Hayes has been given several chances to get his act together. Anyone can see he doesn't care about anyone other than himself and has a total disregard for human life.
I guarantee you at Chaz's funeral you will not find the judges who did not penalize Hayes for his choices.
Maybe if these judges were made to attend a funeral of a young man who died because they did not have the common sense to put Hayes away until he no longer was a threat to the people of Kentucky, they might make better rulings next time a person comes before them.
I hope each judge read the article and was unable to stomach what their choice had to do with this situation.
The March 21 article concerning the suspect in the slaying of Chaz A. Black, 16, mentioned that the suspect had tested the bounds of probation many times before.
For example, violating probation, testing positive for drugs, threatening a parole officer and trying to kick out a window. But he was allowed to continue on probation. Can anyone explain that to me?
However, the letters kept pouring into the judges saying he was a good person and nonviolent. Maybe those writers should send a letter to the Black family and indicate he didn't mean to kill the teen.
After reading that article, I have come to two conclusions: The law is a joke, and there are judges sitting on the bench who need to be doing something else. Is there any judge or defense attorney ready to dispute my conclusions?
Ira S. Fink
Addiction is a choice
I feel sorry for the family of Whitney Houston for the pain they endured, brought on by her addiction. She should be honored as a talented singer and that is all. Her way of life led to her demise and she should not be made to be a victim of addiction.
As a recovered addict, it really makes me mad to hear the poor pitiful addict syndrome applied to those who continue to choose to be addicted.
I choose not to take drugs anymore. I choose not to go to the same drug-infested places I once attended. I choose not to hang out with the same addicts I once did. I chose to go to rehabilitation on my own. You hear addiction is a disease, a gene thing. Well I am here to tell you, I have that disease or gene too, and I still continue to choose not to participate.
This society is to a point where it is always someone else's fault when someone does something wrong. It is time that people start standing up and taking responsibility for their actions.
Realizing you have a problem is the first step, choosing to do something about it is the hardest part. It is not easy, but when you look at yourself in the mirror and don't like what you see, what are you going to do about it? Kids should be made to know this is not acceptable behavior and what the consequences of such behavior are.
Help youths tap into their power
It often seems we bring youth to the forefront only in the context of problems and youth violence. Many of us try to empower youth and we should. However, we must also recognize that youth are already empowered. They have the power of imagination, drive, energy, life, physical ability, learning ability, resiliency, teamwork, morality and, most importantly, identity.
Every single youth has all the power they need to overcome the high hurdles they face on the outside and the hardest hurdles that are on the inside. They already have all the tools necessary to lead a peaceful life and achieve what they want in this world.
It seems that many youths do violence to gain some perceived control in their life or to gain empowerment. What they find is that doing violence is a power demagnetized. They lose control, respect and time at a crucial time of their lives.
And, according to research, who are the greatest victims of youth violence? Young people, of course. Youth violence is self-destructive to its core. And who are the most often attacked? The ones who themselves do violence. Young people who live by the sword very often die by the sword. Do drugs and alcohol factor in violence? Of course. Abusing drugs and alcohol turns your identity into mush. Goodbye, superpowers.
Looking for respect? You've got it. Everyone with an identity is completely worthy of total respect, whether other people recognize it or not.
Douglas A. Wain
Executive director, Win The War! Against Violence
Society hungers for violence
A man once said, show me what a nation entertains itself with and I will tell you what its moral character is.
It is not a stretch to say that America's entertainment choices are for the most part wretched, and the release of Hunger Games may very well be the last nail in the coffin.
The premise of this movie is basically a world that entertains itself by watching children, ages 12 to 18, fight to the death on television.
Kids and adults alike are expressing devotion to this movie to the likes of the Beatles first trip across the pond. That thousands of rabid teens, and in many cases their moms and even dads, are waiting in line for days to witness a movie about kids being forced to kill each other in voyeuristic fashion makes the grim notion of how far America has sunk all too real.
Before anyone tries to trump this argument with the "it's just art" card, tell that to the dozens of police departments and their communities dealing with these copycat Project X parties. That movie is about some teens who throw a party that gets just a little out of control — like burn the house down out of control. Life does imitate art and art imitates life.
The Hunger Games, just like other mindless, violent and derogatory stuff is real within the hearts and minds of much of this nation. If it were not so, it would not exist.