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Everybody's Column

Jury's decision ?is inexplicable

I was actually in the courtroom at the end of jury selection, because my group of 50 had just been called in as the final two alternates were being questioned and then chosen. I would have been able to serve with an open mind, but sat there thinking that there was no way the defense team would have allowed me on the jury, because I have a degree in mathematics and a strong science background.

As the trial unfolded, I became even surer of that, since having a knowledgeable and rational juror would have been the last thing they would have wanted for the defense they had planned. Does anyone really believe that there is a car so well-engineered and soundproof that the driver would not have heard the noise that brought people out of their houses from behind closed doors?

Also, if you've ever hit anything with a car, you know the contact Dr. James Corasanti had with Alix Rice would have been an impact that felt nothing like running over something minor on the road. All of the doctor's actions speak louder than his words, and guess what, sometimes people who have committed crimes lie under oath on the stand. Did the jurors just ignore that probability?

Also, why did the fact that the defense team bought an "expert" to say he had doubts that the alcohol test was done and/or calibrated correctly count for more than the testimony of the people who were actually doing the testing? Why did they doubt the testimony of the prosecution witnesses, but believe the only people who had reason to lie? Finally, having read and listened to everything I could find on the case, had I been on the jury we'd still be in deliberations.

Chuck Godfrey



Why would jurors ?ignore eye witnesses?

Despite the enormous preponderance of evidence presented by the district attorney in the Dr. James Corasanti trial, offered to the jury in perfect detail, including the evidence given by the most reliable of eyewitnesses – another driver at the scene – it is abhorrent that this group assigned to seek justice chose to believe a drunken driver who was clearly trying to save his reputation.

All 12 jurors must have not only sat there with their heads in the sand during the trial, but their heads were collectively all in the same hole.

Robert Mediak

Retired police lieutenant



Justice not served? to Rice, community

In response to the letter writer who wishes to blame Alix Rice's parents and friends for not driving her home that night, let me remind her that it was the doctor who was driving the vehicle that struck her. It was his responsibility to observe the roadway in front of him. He had been drinking, was over the legal limit of alcohol and was distracted as he had been texting. How many people really believe he did not realize that he had struck something significant?

The roadway was partially lit. Moments earlier someone witnessed the victim crossing the roadway. He also observed the doctor's vehicle in the bike lane. He heard the collision and returned to the scene to help. The doctor was able to testify on his own behalf; the victim could not. Justice was not served in this case.

Don Young

Orchard Park


Corasanti alone ?caused girl's death

Dr. James Corasanti was driving drunk. He struck and killed Alix Rice with his car. These are the facts of the case. Whether he knew it or not, doesn't matter. He still did it.

It was a tragic accident, sure, but one that would not have happened if he had not been behind the wheel that night. He broke the law and killed a young girl. He should have been convicted on the counts of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter, at the very least.

Mark Ruszala



Consider meaning ?of reasonable doubt

It seems to me that if the jury's decision was well-supported by the evidence, that no one in a car like Dr. James Corasanti's could be expected to see, feel or hear the results of an impact with a person. It should follow that his car model, and any with similar features, is a clear hazard and should be taken off the road.

Another point that I do not see discussed extensively, if at all, is the level of proof required to find "reasonable doubt." Reasonable doubt does not mean a mere possibility of doubt or a shadow or suggestion of doubt. It means the level of doubt that the reasonable, and dare I say "average," person could be convinced of by the evidence, not the defense's suggestions. I think this average community is saying that we do not find the jury's doubt reasonable. I grant that only the jury was in a position to understand all the evidence. If all the evidence supported reasonable doubt, then let's get to work and get these killer cars off the road.

Lucy Ryan



Board should have? stuck with Dixon

I am always amazed to see the controversy each time Buffalo needs to replace an authoritative but unelected civil servant. It seems the first move of whatever board is responsible for replacing this individual is to look outside the area for the "best possible candidate," while at the same time ignoring someone who has been close to the position in question and has all the qualifications necessary to fill that position.

Amber Dixon seems to be qualified as superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools. I don't know Dixon personally, but what I have read about her seems to verify her as the candidate the Buffalo Board of Education should have chosen. She would have been an excellent pick when compared to previous picks who did not improve Buffalo's school system to any degree, but cost the taxpayers an arm and a leg, for unaccountability and incompetence.

The newly appointed superintendent, Pamela Brown, has been all over the map. It seems to me she doesn't stay any place long enough to really understand the school districts and what is happening in those areas. Will Buffalo have to buy out another contract? I hope not. It seems the Board of Education is always looking for the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but in this case, I believe, it is already on the other side of that fence and doesn't realize it.

Norman Machynski



Why does district? insist on outsiders?

How long does it take to learn a lesson? Superintendents James Harris, James Williams and now Pamela Brown. Please! When will people on the Board of Education learn that outside superintendents don't work in Buffalo?

Amber Dixon should have been retained with a one-year evaluation. She has proven to be just what the city schools need to form a coalition and move forward.

Joe Mascia



We need to live? within our means

There are lessons we can all learn from the recent failed recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Be it individuals, households, businesses or government, to spend more than what's already at hand is foolish; it's simple Economics 101.

Achieving and maintaining fiscal solvency often requires the cutting down on, or even total cutting out of, certain activities; it's called choosing priorities prudently.

Those whose employment depends on "we the people" need to realize that we can only afford to do so much; we can't afford to pay more and higher taxes for them to have benefits that the average Joe or Jane can only dream of. If we have to make do with less from time to time, so should they; aren't we all supposed to be in the same boat?

One more thing: That Mike guy who cried on CNN when Walker beat his candidate, Tom Barrett — even preschoolers are Mike's betters.

Lloyd A. Marshall Jr.



Wisconsin results? cause for concern

What happened in Wisconsin with the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker, the incumbent? Money bought an election. It signals the demise of public sector unions. Firefighters, police officers and teachers will be handed pink slips.

It is a further erosion of the middle class. Even private sector employees, once Wisconsin becomes a right-to-work state, will be affected.

Is anyone aware that the institution of collective bargaining rights began in Wisconsin? Google the Progressive Robert La Follette. Google the history of collective bargaining. And, don't say, "It can't happen here" because it can happen anywhere. President Obama did not weigh into this election, but I hope he's watching it.

In my opinion, it shows that money, even over race, will determine his re-election. We've become a nanny state? So what? In the 2012 election, we may become an oligarchy. That's right. Our experiment in democracy may go the way the Romans did.

Helaine Elise Sanders

East Amherst


Bring more workers ?to downtown Buffalo

It was exciting to read about the creative additions to the Larkin District and the concept of Larkinville. But my concern is the subtractions it might create for the traditional Main Street area of offices, etc. If there is no critical mass moving into the Buffalo area, we might find companies moving to the Larkin District and leaving much too much office space in our current downtown area. Aside from the wonderful Hotel @ the Lafayette renovation, there don't seem to be many leadership ideas for all of the potentially empty spaces, including the long-empty old AM&A's building. Any viable solutions afoot?

Ginger B. Maiman