Letter — Legal coverage not fair to man
As witnesses in the trial of Anthony D’Andrea, who was declared not guilty of willfully injuring a female cohabitant by a Superior Court jury, we have given long and careful consideration to the Tribune’s coverage of that legal event, a story written by your staff writer William Ferchland. We have decided without a fraction of doubt that, despite the jury’s not-guilty decision, the story leaves readers with the definite impression that the defendant, Mr. D’Andrea, was indeed guilty, which is grossly unfair to him.
Let’s start with the end of your story. Although not directly quoting her, your reporter wrote that Lois Denowitz, community educator at the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center, as discouraged by the jury’s decision and that citizens, as potential jurors, need to be more educated on domestic violence.
It’s our judgment that ending the story in such a fashion leaves readers with the impression that members of that jury were too stupid to have come to a proper decision. Does Ms. Donowitz not believe in this country’s jury system? The story would give that impression.
The impression is significantly strengthened earlier when Deputy District Attorney Lisa Serafini is quoted as telling the jury, “The reality of this case is the defendant set all of this in motion,” which is followed by a statement from another assistant district attorney that his office was disappointed by the verdict.
All of this has led, in our opinion, to the inference that Mr. D’Andrea was in reality guilty of the charges leveled against him, regardless of the decision of the jury. And that leads to another inference that it is a fallacy to presume someone is innocent until proven guilty. The article written by your staff writer gives readers the impression that one can be guilty even after proven innocent by the judgment of 12 of one’s peers.
The American jury system gave Anthony D’Andrea a not-guilty badge. He should be able to wear it proudly.
Bruce and Bea Cook
South Lake Tahoe
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