Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Thursday, May 16, 2019: Cold-blooded murder, Trump and Job Corps

Stankewitz guilty of cold-blooded murder

I read your editorial regarding the decision of the (Fresno County) district attorney not to seek the death penalty in the Douglas Stankewitz case because of alleged mitigating factors outweighing the aggravating factors.

First, I was the original prosecutor in this case over 40 years ago, which was tried twice. Many of your alleged “facts” are simply incorrect. Most of what is “mitigation” was presented to the jury and rejected. Second, nobody who actually participated in that case, including myself, was actually consulted on the decision by the D.A. Third, Stankewitz committed that premeditated murder after being released from the Youth Authority for participating in the shooting of a CHP officer, carjacking, and the brutal attempted murder of an elderly man. He escaped during trial and was waiting for automatic weapons so he could “kill a cop” when we recaptured him.

This was a brutal, premeditated murder of his victim, Theresa Greybeal, of Modesto. I have handled hundreds of murders as a prosecutor and as a judge and this was one of the most cold-blooded I have ever seen. I could support telling the public the truth, which is that given the governor’s current moratorium on the death penalty and the fact it would be another 20 years for it to be imposed, it makes little sense to pursue it except as a matter of principle.

Your editorial said Stankewitz was “smirking.” There was a reason for that.

James A. Ardaiz, Fresno

Editor’s note: The editorial was written by The Fresno Bee and republished in The Modesto Bee.

On the edge of social collapse

The way Trump and Barr refuse to obey the laws of the land and accept the consequences of their corrupt, traitorous actions has brought us to the edge of total social collapse and cannot be excused.

Never has the social contract of our republic been so transparently violated by those in power. We have the power together to bring them down, and they are counting on our complacency. Don’t be complacent, don’t give up, don’t be satisfied with the diminishing rights they see fit to give us.

Never forget, America was not always like this. Don’t stop fighting, demand accountability, insist on your rights. March, wave signs, write letters, make phone calls, give donations, volunteer, do all you can until the war is won.

Elizabeth Harper, Sonora

Robust economy justifies anything

Re “Sunshine is only cure for Trump” (Letters, May 5): The leftist writer whines and moans about President Trump being a liar, racist, bigot and homophobe. In his sobbing and pouting, the writer fails to mention the Labor Department’s latest jobs report, which states that unemployment is at a 49-year low (3.6 percent) and the Commerce Department’s report that the economy grew 3.2 percent during the first quarter of the current year under this administration. Trump’s negative personality has not hurt the economy one bit.

The author refers to the president as a “tumor” and a “nightmare.” Well, if President Trump is a tumor, then he is a tumor which every economy in the world wants to be diagnosed as having. If he is a nightmare, then let’s hope we never wake up. Most Americans, myself included, condemn lying, racism, bigotry and homophobia. But if having a president who possesses those traits also provides us with a healthy economy, then so be it; it will not harm or destroy our country.

Alex Paul Kiehl, Turlock

Job Corps prepares workforce

Last week, Congressman Josh Harder questioned Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta about the effect of cutting the Job Corps budget by 40 percent, when in reality government should be doubling down on its investment in Job Corps. In California, as well as the rest of the United States, there is a deficit of skilled and trained crafts people to build the homes we lack and improve our antiquated infrastructure.

The Carpenters Union in partnership with Job Corps provides a place where students can find training and support in a safe environment at more than 100 campuses throughout the country. Students who qualify receive the equivalent of a scholarship plus room and board, medical care, work clothing, a cash allowance and counseling.

The UBC Job Corps is a pre-apprenticeship program; instructors teach students to use basic hand and power tools safely. After completing UBC Job Corps, students can be placed in union-apprenticeship programs, where they will receive excellent benefits including good pay, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

Our residents are in need of the valuable training and resources provided by Job Corps. For more information or to enroll in the program call 800-733-5627.

Agustin Beltran, public and governmental affairs director, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, Oakland