Letter to Editor of Post-Gazette

Date: Tue, 29 Oct 1996 21:52:40 -0500 (EST)
From: Joel C Scilley
To: letters@post-gazette.com
Subject: Gammage Coverage

As the chairperson for last Saturday's "Justice for Jonny Gammage" Rally, I am of course interested in how local media cover protests and other events surrounding this case. So imagine my amazement watching your political evolution within the pages of a single issue on Oct. 29.

Jan Ackerman's front page article begins with a somewhat slippery association of the NAACP (and presumably other citizen groups) with an alleged "mob mentality." This article is followed by transcripts, an article on the judge's decision, and an article which describes the various positions of the dismissed jurors. Finally, your editorial on the case virtually echoes the sentiments voiced at our rally as well as the position first adopted by the NAACP: Judge Cashman clearly violated codes of judicial conduct.

Of course, I would personally go on to point out that D.A. Colville's office is remiss in not pursuing the admittedly difficult process of ejecting Judge Cashman. Difficult is a far cry from impossible. If, as is suggested in your article on page A-9, the prosecution is wary of making this move due to the threat of future retributions from Judge Cashman, then this is even more evidence that this case has always warranted the appointment of a special prosecutor who would not be subject to such retributions.

On Oct. 29 it took you only fourteen pages to move from the vilification of those who excercise their critical intelligence and 1st Amendment rights about this case to an adoption of this much decried position. You should be commended for the latter parts of this evolution. Welcome to the "mob."

Joel Scilley
Squirrel Hill

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