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Letters: Was justice served?

Johnson City Press • Jul 28, 2019 at 6:00 AM

With Monday’s Question of the Week, we asked our readers if they believe justice had been served by the jury’s “not guilty” verdict in Tristan Rettke’s civil rights intimidation case. Here are some of the responses we received.

Justice will come without conviction 

I doubt the local prosecutor would have brought criminal charges against Tristan Rettke if the offense didn't meet the criterion for civil rights intimidation. His use of the rope alone at a Black Lives Matter rally, symbolic of lynching, must have been meant to intimidate. I would like to have heard the defense's take on that.

Rettke has already paid a price for what he chose to do. I suspect he will experience a great deal of negative collateral damage and may well find himself justly discriminated against for his grotesque and contemptible racist display. Justice has a way of coming at us from unexpected directions. Many chanting participants caught on nationally televised videos of the Charlottesville white supremacists rally found themselves no longer employed and ostracized by neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and even strangers when they returned home, probably expecting to resume normal activities. There's more than one reason the KKK wore hoods.

No way can the blot on Rettke's character be completely expunged. He'll have to live with it. But there's always the hope of grace and acceptance for genuine and humble U-turns of the heart.

MARION GROVER
Johnson City

Jury has spoken

Justice was served, because Rettke was tried by 12 of his peers. That is what our Constitution is set up for.

What happened was not in good taste. One thing the young man did not do was throw rocks at the police, burn down stores and loot stores.

So, by your article I feel like you didn’t like the verdict. A lot of people have seen a lot of jury verdicts they did not agree with, but that is the law.

RAYMOND PERKINSON
Johnson City

Justice was served

First, we all need to applaud the Black Lives Matter Group for showing restraint and not letting this incident turn into another Charlottesville. Could have easily happened.

Mr. Rettke should receive the maximum fine and sentence (including jail) for which he was convicted by a jury of his peers. Hopefully, he learned from this "tasteless" and "reckless stunt."

This type of activity has increased in recent years and the blame should be directly placed on the current rhetoric (both sides) in Washington fueled by the cable news channels who under no regulations requiring accountability report political opinions of the day with the actual news twisted to support their narratives.

Pick your poison and fact check Fox, MSNBC, CNN or RT; about 30% is actually accurate. Very dangerous activity!

Political agendas should be not be based or have to be based on the color of a person's skin. To quote the great Martin Luther King in his “I have a dream” speech, “I have a dream my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.”

Wise words spoken over 50 years ago. Have we not made any progress?

WILLIAM PRENDERGAST
Elizabethton

Respect the jurors

In today's Johnson City Press, my feeling about the question put out to readers "Was justice being served on . . . . ." should have waited until after Aug. 14.

The people on the jury are our peers, they listened to both sides and made a decision to the best of their ability. I respect the jury's decision and do not question them.

I think it is unfortunate that Tristan Rettke lost his right to attend ETSU, and I hope that he will be able to attend another institution of higher learning.

TRILLIS MCKEE
Gray

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

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