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Reform needed in Berkshire County justice system

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By Sunday, Sep 23, 2018 Letters

To the Editor:

A story of violent crime continues to unfold in the wake of the August 21 early morning October Mountain shooting that left a Berkshire County youth in critical condition from gunshot wounds and three more young men in custody. A recent story in The Berkshire Eagle  describes the current legal events in this case in which, incredibly, while Judge Michael Callan found all three suspects in the shooting “dangerous,” he has nonetheless recommended bail for two of the suspects, both of whom have past histories of violent crime. “Callan said, based on the facts presented at each man’s bail review hearing, he found each of them dangerous, he felt there were release conditions the court could impose that would ensure the safety of the victim and the community,” including a no contact order, house arrest and GPS monitoring.

I cannot imagine the impact of this decision on the victim — recovering from grievous injuries — or his family. And the horror of having two of the suspects released on the conditions that they (among other things) “stay away” from their victim while the victim of their attack continues to fight to recover the life and health of which he was robbed by these men seems a cruel injustice and a highly unsettling decision.

I remain hopeful that Andrea Harrington will bring to the DA’s office a better understanding of the impact and threat of violent crime in our communities.

In the mean time, I am sure that the victim’s community will continue to watch over the him and his family with love and continuing support, though I would have preferred that the Berkshire County justice system had supported the safety of our community with even a fraction of the zeal that it shows in prosecuting small-time drug offenders.

Claudia d’Alessandro

Great Barrington

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