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Pass Eric's Law 


I write in support of the compelling letter by Larry Hourany calling out Sheriff Mike Downey and his fitness for the job (Mailbox, June 9). The thing that I find so galling about Downey is his continued refusal to acknowledge any responsibility for the tragic sequence of events that led to the murder of St. Bernard pastor Eric Freed.  

This was the crime of the century for Humboldt County and it happened, in substantial part, because of the jail's unreasonable late night release of Gary Bullock. A first year law student could make the case for the jail's malfeasance. Downey's sensitivity to the constitutional rights of arrestees rings false. The sheriff displays an attitude of indifference that is indistinguishable from arrogance.

Father Freed's family has shown remarkable restraint in apparently forgoing legal action against the sheriff's department, saving the county possible thousands (or more) in liability. If I were the sheriff, I would show my gratitude by honoring the humble request of Father Freed's family and pass Eric's Law. There should be a jail policy of no late night releases of arrestees. It should happen tomorrow.

Peter DeAndreis, Eureka

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