I read Jeremy Voas’ article with a mixture of disgust and horror as to his treatment at the hands of our Detroit police and the legal system ("Hard Time," Metro Times, Aug 21-27). I hope that those responsible — from officers Cole and Burley to the officers at the First Precinct to the prosecutor and judge (too bad you didn't publish their names, too) — are, at a minimum, read the riot act by their superiors. Even more appropriate would be a period of suspension for the officers and perhaps a refresher course on how to deal with the public. At the least, notation should be made on their personnel records of this incident.
How often does this type of occurrence happen to citizens who don't have access to the media? And the mainstream media don't really give a damn unless someone is killed. The choke hold on Schusterbauer is particularly disturbing; he didn't seem to be causing any particular problems. Officer Cole should face the severest review of his actions and psychological intervention before he kills the next person. —James Dixon, Bone4PA@aol.com, Detroit
The money pit
Lisa M. Collins, thanks very much for the informative article ("Slipping up," Metro Times, Aug. 21-27). I have always felt that no one has a true handle on the amount of cost of lawsuits to our society.
I have a feeling if you added business lawsuit expenses (passed on in higher costs) insurance expenses and the cost of other branches of government, that $38 payout per Detroit resident per year would be a drop in the bucket.
Instead of talking to Geoff Fieger, who gets a new Porsche every time someone slips in the city, why didn't you interview some insurance company lawyers? Why not talk to someone who supports tort reform? Oh, gee, I forgot, you guys are against tort reform of any kind.
No wonder people line up to sue this city; it's like the lottery with no ticket cost. I guess we'll just have to go on paying for these huge settlements, God forbid Fieger can't get more digs, in West Bloomfield.
Our lawsuit system is the ultimate tax-the-poor, pay-the-rich scam. Shakespeare was right. —Steve Burkhalter, firstname.lastname@example.org, Oak Park
Alive and well
I read Jack Lessenberry's piece ("Kevorkian’s issue is still alive," Metro Times, Aug. 21-27) on Jack Kevorkian's move to a prison in Lapeer. He is absolutely correct that the issue of physician aid-in-dying is even more urgent today than a few years ago.
While it is true that the subject is not as media-featured as it was then, we should know that it remains a critical matter to a great many people.
As past president of Hemlock of Michigan, an organization devoted to pressing for legal and legislative acceptance of aid-in-dying for the incurably and terminally ill, I can report that our membership has recently increased substantially. We now have about 1,000 as against 500 or 600 a few years ago. We are alive and well.
Anyone who wishes to join our chapter of Hemlock USA, based in Denver, can reach us locally at 734-973-2175 or 248-375-9773. Our annual dues are modest and our zeal is unabated. —Shaw Livermore, email@example.com, Ann Arbor
Ann Mullen’s article ("Well hell," Metro Times, Aug 7-13) was right on. It's been a damn long fight, and we're coming down to the wire. People like her restore my faith in people in general — and especially reporters. It seems like nothing gets done without the press. Let's hope to God someone sees the light on this. I don't want my hometown to become Canada's toilet.
I want those who have cost my town and myself so much time and effort to suffer, not just be inconvenienced. I'd like to throw them in jail for trying to corrupt our officials at the expense of a lot of people. I almost feel like an Enron employee who got sold down the river. Honestly, I hope they pay a price. They obviously don't have a conscience. —Lorie Johnson, Romulus