An excellent and eloquent plea for all of us to remember the tenets of our
national system of criminal justice - that all men (and women) are innocent
until proven guilty. That sometimes means that the guilty will go free because
there isn't "enough" evidence or the jury makes an illogical
judgement. But those are the rules we live by and we should accept them.This same plea should apply to all those who have been accused but not
yet found guilty. Too often we, the public, are quick to make judgments about a
person's guilt, based on their cultural background, the neighborhood they
live in or grew up in or the color of their skin.Let's give
everyone the benefit of letting the courts determine their guilt or innocence
without us making hasty judgments and condemning someone before their day in
However, guilty or innocent, they should still be accorded the respect that we
all desire, and to not be publicly lynched by the mob mentality that has
permeated this story since the beginning.Respect was lost when their
ability to make ethical decisions failed them. You never want the highest law
enforcement in the state to be secretly recored at a secret meeting saying
"do they know about the boat" which proves he at least thought it would
look bad to the people of Utah.Not to mention the daily executions
of the president by misinformed radio fans. No charges have been filed on him
and yet daily these folks claim that he is breaking the law with nothing more
than hate to drive them.These 2 are special though, for some reason?
That's because of the mountain of evidence dug up already...that goes WAY
beyond accidental, incidental, or circumstantial--i.e.; Swallow on tape worrying
that he might be caught using Johnson's houseboat. They are under a larger
microscope than the average Joe, and we, the people, who elected them are hot
now.Yes...everyone is technically innocent until proven guilty, but these
two sure left a trail that leads any sane person to highly question their
integrity, smarts, and legitimacy.Shurtleff posing in the yellow
Lamborghini---C'mon.Unless you are related to them, there is
every reason to suspect that they are guilty for at least SOME of the felony
Not only are these charges serious, but the evidence is overwhelming.You have several DAs (repubs and democrats), the Utah legislature, and the
FBI. It's not some liberal conspiracy to take down the beloved AG. In fact,
you have a meeting at Krispy Kreme where Swallow asks Johnson if people
"knew about the boat." First off, why is Swallow even meeting with
Johnson? Secondly, why is he asking him if people knew about the boat?
Let's stop playing politics here and just look at the evidence, for once.
Dave, the system will protect these defendants. They will probably be better
protected and represented than those they themselves prosecuted (unless it was
their buddies who paid them off). I don't think media attention and
criticism of the defendants rises to the level that you portray.
Real Maverick - you are right about what appears to be mountains of evidence
that has been leaked to the public. So go ahead and have diadain for these men
and even root for them to be convicted, if you must. But please don't
claim they are guilty of anything until they are actually proven to be, in a
court of law. There are two, and sometimes more, sides to every situation and
it would be foolish to assume something without hearing all the evidence.
That's what a trial is all about.I don't think the author
is claiming this is a left wing conspiracy or any such thing. He's just
saying we should cool it with the hyperbolic language and sanctimonious
judgement until all the facts are known and the final judgement is made.
That's all.I'm sure you've got plenty of things to do
in the meantime. The system seems to be working. Let it follow it's
intended course and hope the truth, above all else, is what is revealed in the
Why doesn't this apply to Obama?Let me get this straight:Zero evidence of birth certificate falsificationZero evidence that
he's a MuslimZero evidence of a Benghazi cover upObama is
guilty of all of these things and needs to be impeached.But with
Shurtleff and Swallow? Overwhelming evidence, not to mention an audio recording
from a doughnut shop in Orem, and yet they're still innocent? Interesting how double standard here.If some people desire that
the hateful rhetoric be toned down, then great! But I just hope that the right
does this as well.
I find it ironic that this is the case where Utahns draw the line in the sand
for "Innocent until proven guilty"Brian David Mitchell
received no such letters.Warren Jeffs- nope.Curtis Allgier-Nope, the
guy had too many tattoos to be innocent (that was actually some of the
comments)But the AG on corruption standards? We must allow the
System to work!The Court of Public Opinion has no such thing as due
process. It is not required to play by such rules.
Information was not "leaked" to the public.It was obtained
by news reporters who were doing the job they should be doing. Reporting to the
public and holding public officials accountable for their actions.If
this information had not been reported to the public, do you really believe the
case would have progressed to this point. Or would the GOP powers have squashed
it and allowed corruption to continue?
We can talk about it, but we need to suspend judgement until the trial is
over.We also need to keep the severity of the crimes in mind while
we talk about it. Some people act like they committed murder... What is the
penalty for using a client's house boat? Death???IF they are
found guilty... THEN the punishment needs to fit the crime. How many years do
you get for using somebody's house boat???
"Information was not "leaked" to the public."If the
information went from a criminal investigation to the local newspapers then
somebody leaked it. Yes, the journalists have done their job in keeping the
story alive but once again you make assumptions without evidence when you say,
"...the GOP powers (would) have squashed it and allowed corruption to
continue?" If you have evidence of that happening, bring it forward. But
as it stands, your argument is no different than the weak arguments made by the
GOP against the president, or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Until we all stop
this finger pointing at each other our national discourse will only suffer even
greater damage.These men have been charged with serious crimes and
from the evidence made public, it appears they are guilty. But NONE of us has
the power to convict either one of them: only the judge and jury after they have
considered the facts.That same standard should apply to everyone
accused of a crime and until you or I afford that privilege to even the people
we don't trust, we are not doing our part to raise the standard of
Great sentiments, Dave. I hope you apply the same fairness and open-minded
attitude to every single person who is accused of a crime and especially to
those who are not convicted. They, too, deserve a chance to get back to their
lives without being judged by anyone.
"We can talk about it, but we need to suspend judgement until the trial is
over."Great! Let's have this apply to the President as
well. How many times have you and others from the right judged the president
guilty before any trial or heck, any evidence?
HVH, sharphooksWhy am I not surprised to see that you have already
convicted them? Maverick,Why did not holder’s injustice
department file the charges? Why was it the SL County prosecutor? Maybe
because holder already dug far enough to reach reid, so he backed off? See how
easy it is to come to a conclusion from the court of public opinion and personal
distrust of the other party? No, let the courts try them.Atlas,Who, beside dem fund raisers, is talking about BO being impeached? WHO???I do not believe BO is a muslim, but BO himself was quoted as saying,
“my muslim faith”, so if there is any confusion on that point, BO
contributed to it.And since when is being a muslim an impeachable
offense? Boy, the dem fundraisers are really grasping at straws and their
target audience is really gullible.If they are found guilty, they
should be punished. Period. but not before.
@lost in DC wrote: "Atlas,Who, beside dem fund raisers, is talking
about BO being impeached? WHO???"Rep. Steve Scalise, Rep. Jeff
Denham, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, Rep. Steve King, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Rep.
Michele Bachmann, Rep. Blake Farenthold, Rep. Steve Stockman, Rep. Jack
Kingston, Rep. Randy Weber, Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. Michael Burgess, Rep. Ted
Yoko, Rep. Paul Broun, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Lou Barletta.
2bits?Several felonies for both individuals are not serious? Since when?
Sorry, it's much more than using someone's houseboat. I would
encourage you to read up on their charges. With the positions these men held,
they are very serious.
They will buy their way out of prison. That's an unwritten rule of the
court system, If you have money, you can pay a hefty amount to go free.
@ 2 bits"Some people act like they committed murder... What is
the penalty for using a client's house boat? Death???"Try
telling that to the thousands of Utahns who lost their retirements by Johnson.
While these Utahns were being ripped apart Our AGs were hanging out on house
boats and beach front condos. Utahns lost an estimated $250 million in
retirement funds due to Johnson. While he should have been prosecuted he was
hanging out with our AGs.Did you know that thousands of Utahns lost
their homes because of a bank committed fraud? That very same bank donated
hundreds of thousands to Shurtleff and later gave him a job.Have you
spoken to a single mother with children who lost everything because her payday
shark preyed on her while they bought off Swallow?Make no mistake,
thousands upon thousands of Utahns have been hurt by the corrupt AG. He is
supposed to be the chief law enforcement of the state. We are all hurt when our
AG refuses to enforce the law because he's too busy counting his bribes
from those he should be prosecuting.
@Atlas SmashedSanta Monica, CAWhy doesn't this apply to
Obama?=========== Agreed!The hypocrisy is beyond
astounding and all reason!
ECR, wrong.There are laws that require law enforcement to disclose
information when requested by news media.They may withhold it only
when there are exigent circumstances that would endanger a case or witnesses in
the case.Ever heard of "Freedom of Information?"On top of that, most of the information reported on came directly from court
documents filed as part of the charging process. Those documents are public
documents unless they have been ordered by the court to be sealed due to
circumstances permitted by law.Again, I can only say that the people
of Utah owe a large vote of thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune for shining a
spotlight on this situation. Without that spotlight, it would likely have been
swept back under the rug.One of the basic foundations of a free and
honest society is a free and honest press.
@Anti Bush Obama--These guys are almost flat broke now, and what they have
left will soon disappear to their lawyers. No--they will NOT be buying their way
out of this.@Lost...I haven't convicted them. I was just naming
evidence that is doing a fine job of that all by itself. Shurtleff protests to
the point of exhaustion...and I don't think he's doing himself any
favors--tweeting---that and parading his daughter out in front of him like a
human shield.Swallow--for his myriad faults--is keeping mum...not that
THAT will save him.This whole thing stinks...where there's
smoke--this MUCH smoke-- there's usually fire.I haven't
convicted them, but I'm sure our legal system will.
one old man - I can tell you feel strongly about the case. My point was that
the public has been informed by the media with whatever information has been
given them, in whatever method they obtained it and there is no guarantee that
is the complete body of evidence. I'm not sure you and I are
having an argument, but regardless it has very little to do with the point of
the letter to the editor. All he was doing was asking for the public to not
judge anyone before they have their day in court.I'm usually on
your side arguing against the likes of Lost in DC, or Redshirt Whatever and all
it gets us is a louder argument with no resolution. I'm just trying to say
that if we expect those folks to be more fair minded (and I really don't
expect it) when discussing the people we support - like the President - then we
should be just as fair minded (regardless of whether or not they are) when
discussing the politicians they support. Nobody has been convicted ...yet, and
until they are we should keep an open mind.
@Sharphooks:"These guys are almost flat broke now, and what they have
left will soon disappear to their lawyers. No--they will NOT be buying their way
out of this."If only it were so. However, with their
connections to loan sharks and Bank of America, I'm sure
"arrangements" can be made. Maybe a little short sale (Mike Lee could
tell them how it's done), maybe a reverse mortgage, who knows? If they
have to sell their houses (and who knows what other properties they may have
acquired), then maybe they could stay in a house boat at Lake Powell or a
beach-side condo in Newport. What are friends for, after all? . . . . Well,
maybe not those kinds of friends.And can't they tap their
campaign funds--you know, the ones that were so generously inflated by
contributions aka bribes?
@ ECRI think you should consider the very real and personal
consequences of the crimes of these 2 men. We typically agree too, but not on
this issue.Why? Because I've been personally effected by these
men.My aunt who's 70 years old was booted out of her home by
Bank of America. I remember how she was treated. She told me the details. I felt
like there was something fishy. Did Shurtleff look after victims like my aunt?
Nope. He was posing with a yellow Lamborghini in Los Angeles while my aunt lost
her home.In my church calling, I've heard a few stories of
broken desperate people who have just been destroyed by these loan shark guys.
Was our AG looking out for my poor church members? Nope. He was taking bribes
from them.I've seen personally the destruction these men have
wrecked. I hope justice is served. The mere fact that they're still
receiving a state pension is just so infuriating.
understands math,no legislation has been introducedsource
please - DNC and huffingtonpost are not reliable and not acceptable.
@EducatorRe: "Try telling that to the thousands of Utahns who
lost their retirements".... "Did you know that thousands of Utahns lost
their homes because of a bank committed fraud"... "Have you spoken to a
single mother with children who lost everything because her payday shark
"...Not only are you convicting them before trial... You are
convicting them of stuff THEY aren't even CHARGED with!THEY
aren't being tried for taking people's retirement!THEY
aren't being tried for bank fraud!THEY aren't being tried for
payday loan companies! You seem to be trying them for EVERY grudge a
good Democrat has been told they should have against Republicans now days!Try to remember... they are being tried for specific crimes (not every
Democrat grudge). And they haven't been found "guilty" of a
single crime yet.I know our legal system is hard for some to
understand, but you don't get to heap every grudge you ever heard upon them
(just because you are upset at Republicans). You try them for
things they have been legally charged with. Then a jury of their peers hears
evidence and decides (not you Democrat hacks)...
To "FreedomFighter41" why blame the businesses? You do realize that in
the case of your Aunt that she most likely was not paying her mortgage for at
least 1 year before she was kicked out of her home. That means for a year she
was essentially stealing from the bank. Who is the victim, the person who
doesn't pay their debt or the debt holder that has so many legal hoops to
jump through that they can't sell the property to recover their costs?Also, who forces anybody to go to a "loan shark"? People choose
to make bad decisions, so why punish either one. If you are dumb enough to go
to a loan shark, then you should learn the hard way that it is a bad
decision.You want to save people from their bad decisions, which is
nice, but it doesn't allow them to learn from their mistakes. What good is
choice if you never have to suffer the consequences of bad choices?If you keep rescuing people from the loan sharks, when will they learn not to
go the loan sharks? All you have taught them is that they will be rescued.
Fair Trials are a partisan buzz-kill. Why have fair trials.... when all the
partisan bickering and convicting them for every grudge we have against the
other party is so fun???This legal stuff it no fun...
"should still be accorded the respect that we all desire" Right.Even though a recording that can only be demonstrating
Shurtleff's venality and his willingness to profit by committing crimes is
now publicly available, we should just ignore it.Sure we should.We should just pretend it doesn't exist.They are guilty
. . . just not officially guilty yet.
Hey Lost in DC -"but BO himself was quoted as saying, “my
"Conservatives" ever get tired of telling lies about our President? Have
they no pride? . . . no morals?Snopes refutes your FALSE contention.
Look it up.Obama was referring to false allegations that he was a
@lost in DC wrote: "understands math,no legislation has been
introduced"Moving the goalposts, are we? You asked who was
talking about impeachment and I supplied you a list of Republicans who have been
talking about impeachment."source please - DNC and
huffingtonpost are not reliable and not acceptable"So in a
comment that I cannot post hyperlinks in, and when I am limited to four comments
per article and no more than 200 words per comment, you are expecting, what,
MLA-style citations?I respectfully decline.I will make
one correction however: I did make a typo on one of the names: it should be Rep.
@MaxPowerI'd add Josh Powell to your list. He wasn't ever even
charged with a crime, but he was convicted from day one.
@NoodlekaboodleI thought of him right after I submitted my comment.
2bits- "We also need to keep the severity of the crimes in mind while we
talk about it. Some people act like they committed murder... What is the penalty
for using a client's house boat? Death???IF they are found
guilty... THEN the punishment needs to fit the crime. How many years do you get
for using somebody's house boat???"I mentioned before that
clearly you did not read up on their charges. Simply using someone's
houseboat was an ignorant statement regarding their situation. Again 2bits, are
felonies not serious? You have yet to answer. Or are felonies only serious when
someone from a different party is accused of them?
MaxPower and Noodlekaboodle:I suppose we should declare Josh Powell
not guilty of torching his house with his two little boys inside because he was
not tried and convicted in a court of law, right? Presumption of innocence and
all . . . .
Hey 2 bits –“We also need to keep the severity of the
crimes in mind while we talk about it.”We also need to keep
in mind who committed the crimes, while we talk about it.We’re
talking about the Utah’s Attorneys General here . . . Two men who
actively sought to convict others of crimes, by hook or by crook . . . Two men
who gauged their personal SUCCESS by the number of Convictions they could get
and by the SEVERITY of the sentencing.These men are NOT like other
citizens.Should they be treated differently from other citizens?ABSOLUTELY.These men are SYMBOLS of Utah’s justice
system.If their crimes are overlooked, and if they get a slap on
the wrist, then EVERYONE will know there really is NO justice in Utah.And we wouldn’t want that, would we?
I think having a corrupt at has led to confusion and anarchy.We the
people of Utah demand and deserve clarification, just like governor Herbert.We want clarification on what an AG can and cannot do and what happens if he
breaks the law... Repeatedly.Anything else, would just be anarchy.
What the letter writer fails to differentiate is that the LEGAL system is
required to see them as innocent until proven guilty, not public opinion.My opinion is that they are guilty- I wouldn't hire them, or even
be their friend. So what? My opinion does absolutely nothing to remove any
constitutional rights from either of them.The legal system, on the
other hand, must look at them as innocent until a preponderance of the evidence
convicts them of any crimes. Why? Because if the legal system finds them
guilty, they are in danger of having constitutional rights taken away and being
incarcerated.That's the beauty of our system- I'm able to
freely express my opinion. They don't lose rights unless convicted by a
court of law, not a court of public opinion.
@CurmudgeonMaxPower and Noodlekaboodle:I suppose we should
declare Josh Powell not guilty of torching his house with his two little boys
inside because he was not tried and convicted in a court of law, right?
Presumption of innocence and all . . . .-----------I
fear you misunderstood my argument. There have been plenty of trials in our
past where the public had already condemned the accused. Not saying they did
not deserve it, nor that in cases of trial it had been unfair. No one is trying
to take away the right to a fair trial.I just find it interesting
not a single letter to the editor was published about these individuals trying
to hush the discourse of the Court of Public opinion.
@GaryO,Re "These men are NOT like other citizens. Should they
be treated differently from other citizens? ABSOLUTELY"...Now
that's just not right. ALL citizens have the same inalienable rights.
You don't loose them once you accept a government job.We
don't have 2 Constitutions (one for regular citizens... and another for
government workers).We ALL have the same rights. They may have
"responsibilities" we don't have, and them doing something that
would be OK for you and me (I have borrowed a friend's house boat, and
other people have paid for me to stay in a hotel) would not be a crime for me,
where it could be for them. But they do NOT in fact lose ANY of their legal
"Rights" because they are government officials.
Hey 2 bits –“Now that's just not right. ALL
citizens have the same inalienable rights.”Uh huh . . . And
just like everyone else, these two former Utah AG’s have the right to be
tried, convicted, sentenced, and PUNISHED to the utmost extent of the law.In a perfect world, all laws would be enforced equally.But
in reality, resources just don’t exist to enforce all a laws, all of the
time, equally for everyone.So law enforcement prioritizes according
to the significance of the crime.Thus murders take high precedence
over shoplifting. And prosecuting the theft and fraud perpetrated by bald-faced
lying, hypocritically venal AG’s should take precedence over prosecuting
some kid who burglarizes a house.If these former SYMBOLS of Utah
Justice are not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, then Utah is ill
Let the judicial process run its course before making judgments. Some want a
fair trial only if it produces the outcome that supports their biases.
"They should still be accorded the respect that we all desire, and to not be
publicly lynched by a mob mentality." Of course, unless we're talking
about Obama. . .
2bits,It appears you are picking and choosing which posts to respond to.
For the third time, why did you downplay their accusations as someone simply
using a houseboat? Have you read the charges yet? Do you still believe felonies
are no big deal?
In Utah the majority of voters, the faux news watchers, are convinced that these
two are innocent while Obama should be sued and impeached.There are
mountains of evidence that these two are guilty while there isn't a bit of
evidence that Obama is any of the things the repubs claim he is.