The recent stories by the Courier Journal on Officer Absent has prompted the following letter to the editor. It has been several weeks, with no real substantive developments on solving the problem of district court dismissals for failure of police officers to show up as witnesses.
Why hasn't the bar association or someone with the AOC taken the bull by the horns to get all the principals together - police chief, county attorney, commonwealth attorney, chief public defender, chief district court judge - to map out a plan?
Although a computerized subpoena system seems to be at the forefront to remedy the problem, it will only serve as a means of getting the word to the witness. Without the power of the police chief, the courts, and the prosecutors backing it up, there will be little change. Conduct without consequences will not make any difference.
However, a change in attitudes will not accomplish the goals alone. A system of running district court prosecutions which were designed to operate under the caseloads of a half-century ago using outdated scheduling and timing will not fully benefit from a computer designed subpoena system. But a change in attitudes and approaches will be a good start.
Here's the letter entitled "Gross Negligence":
Other cities, we are told, have had this type of situation and fixed it.
We can't brag any more about our city's "livability" when court cases of criminal activity aren't prosecuted because the police don't testify.
This appalling misconduct begins in the police department, goes right to every one of the Metro Council members, each person with any authority in the court system, and ends with the Mayor's office. Every one of them should be ashamed of themselves.
Mrs. ROBERT M. NASH
Some other stories or letters: