Thursday, March 15, 2012

Free Cody

Posted on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 4:00 AM

The story of Cody Marble is a sad case study in Missoula County’s investment in crime (see “Did Cody do it?” Dec. 15, 2011). Instead of supporting a kid, grieving for the loss of his mother by suicide, Cody was reportedly brutalized by a Missoula city police officer, placed in the new juvenile detention facility and left unsupervised except for occasional “cell checks” that allowed the smaller, younger boys to be bullied and left those in charge wondering what went on. Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Giffin, a very successful Democratic candidate for sheriff in the last election, led the child he was questioning in a very unprofessional manner, literally putting words into the youngster’s mouth. You have the judge sentencing a kid to a long adult prison sentence. The most revealing statement in this sad story is that every kid that was in the Juvenile Detention Center with Cody is either in prison or dead. And then you have Fred Van Valkenburg threatening to charge R.T. (who threw an apple at his brother and swore at a police officer to be incarcerated) with perjury if he recants his original testimony! Then Van Valkenburg takes the opportunity to smear the Innocence Project! Where is the accountability? Cody is one of the nearly 13,000 people Montana has under correctional supervision, a number that has quadrupled since the 1980s and the beginning of the war on drugs. It is nice to see the Missoula Independent peeping open its sleepy media-watchdog eyes. The only way tyranny of the kind that has been wrought on this community ends is when industrious journalists write the truth.

Rena Wetherelt

Stevensville

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