Over the last week, the editorial board of The Buffalo News met with policy-makers and leaders and researched, analyzed and debated issues affecting this community. Here's a summary of the week's editorials, which can be read in full on our Web pages:
Sunday: The News' editorial board criticized a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that eroded suspects' right to remain silent, as enshrined in the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona. The ruling concluded that to invoke their right to remain silent, suspects must explicitly say that. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor observed, the ruling "turns Miranda upside down."
Monday: The lead editorial decried the 15 years the Department of Transportation has taken to update rules on flight and duty regulations for pilots. It observed that had new rules been in place 16 months ago, Flight 3407 might not have crashed. The second editorial observed that if New York Democrats are truly interested in remaking their image, they need to back independent redistricting, toughen ethical standards and empower rank-and-file members of the Senate and Assembly.
Tuesday: The day's lead editorial praised the settlement of the lawsuit between Erie County and the U.S. Department of Justice over suicides in the Eire County Holding Center, while observing that the problems there were greater than county leaders wanted to acknowledge. It also expressed frustration that County Executive Chris Collins, who helped negotiate a good resolution to the lawsuit, hadn't taken a more public lead in the matter months earlier. The second editorial supported the federal law that prohibits the Postal Service from delivering cigarettes.
Wednesday: This page observed that while British Petroleum bears much of the blame for the calamitous gulf oil leak, the federal government's incompetent oversight of drilling operations opened the door to disaster. A second editorial urged Western New York merchants to make it easy for Canadians to shop here by welcoming their currency.
Thursday: With yet another convicted Western New Yorker shown by DNA to be innocent of the crime for which he was imprisoned, the editorial page renewed its call for reforms that can make wrongful convictions less likely to occur. Douglas Pacyon was convicted of rape in 1984 and served seven years in prison. Last week he was exonerated. Another editorial observed that by eliminating unneeded X-rays and CT scans, the country can lower health costs and put patients at less risk for radiation sickness.
Friday: The lead editorial observed that by firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replacing him with Gen. David Petraeus, President Obama could solve two problems, first dealing with the near insubordination of McChrystal's organization and, second, putting in a leader better suited to the task in Afghanistan. A second editorial called on the State Legislature to approve Sen. Antoine Thompson's bill to set New York on a path to reduce greenhouse gases.