Letter — Bergna verdict shocking
To the Editor:
I was shocked at the verdict of guilty in the Peter Bergna case. If I had been a juror, the circumstantial evidence would not have convinced me “Beyond a reasonable doubt.” The burden of proof is on the prosecutors and they must show that a murder was committed. It is also an important sworn duty of the DA to protect the innocent.
In my opinion, wearing driving loves and not wearing a seat belt is not that unusual an event. Plus, if he had jumped out on to the asphalt as the prosecution contends, he should have received road rash instead of a bruise and a broken foot. The spot where he went through the guard rail had bolts missing and loosened by hand gliders using it for take off. The evidence indicated that the Ford model that he was driving had a history of brake failure and indeed his brakes were examined by a mechanic and evidence of brake failure discovered. Unfortunately Judge Adams disallowed the Ford’s bad reputation as evidence. Also, a large panel of professional engineers recently concluded that they disagreed with the prosecution’s reconstruction of the situation.
A date with a client in a hot tub does not imply guilt. A wife who changes jobs against her husband’s wishes does not constitute a motive for murder.
The judgment of the justice system in prosecuting rape cases is being questioned all over the USA with new DNA evidence releasing scores of innocent men. I can’t help wondering if pent up “hang em high” emotions left over from the frustrating OJ case didn’t figure in this undeserved conviction. One of the jurors did not perform her job properly and was accused of taking marijuana and discussing the case with others while on jury duty. Imprisoning an innocent man for life is a mistake we want to avoid at all costs. That is why I speak out for Bergna’s release or a retrial with a new judge and a more carefully picked jury.
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