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Flathau: Age not free pass for crime


I was puzzled when I read Mr. Frank Bagnato’s opinion, “Be careful what you wish for” in the Feb. 21 edition.

I am not sure where Mr. Bagnato lives. I live in the USA where we have “laws of the land” that keep people and government in check. Is it perfect? No, but it is not Russia where leaders can make people disappear.

For every action, there is a reaction. Some reactions are good, like a stranger who gives a homeless person $100 out of the goodness of his heart. There are also bad reactions, like the 94-year-old woman who runs into a cyclist at a red light and it ends in his death due to extreme injuries. Her real crime was in leaving the scene of the accident.

The family of the cyclist has every right to pursue this case to receive some sort of justice for their relative. The woman will be given the right to an attorney or a public defender if she cannot afford one. I can only guess that a competency test will be ordered, but the 94-year-old woman is responsible for her actions, hitting the man with her vehicle and leaving the scene.

Age is not a free pass to commit crimes. I wonder how Mr. Bagnato would feel if this was his relative? Yes, feel sympathy for the woman and don’t judge the woman, but in the end, she is accountable for this crime.

She will not be “hung in the public square” nor will she be “stoned to death” or “burned at the stake.”

We are a country of laws with reasonable considerations and empathy for a situation just like this one. There will be no real winners here: not for the cyclist, his relatives or the woman and her family. A sad outcome for all of them.

Linda Flathau