Legislators shouldn't be exempt from the law

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2004

I read with interest the article in the Sunday, March 7, edition of the Juneau Empire about two of our state legislators involved in a domestic violence dispute after drinking too much.

Several years ago our Legislature passed a bill making domestic violence a criminal charge with someone going to jail.

My understanding is that when the police are called in a domestic violence situation, someone takes a ride to the back door of Lemon Creek Correctional Center and stays there until a judge determines otherwise.

I did not see that in this particular case.

I was very surprised that the legislators involved received immunity for their poor judgment. Had this happened to you or me, we would have gone to jail, period.

All those charged with domestic violence should go to jail until a judge can sort out the issues at hand. Being a member of the Alaska State Legislature should not make you immune to the law.

Your only comment was, "It's unfortunate that a disagreement, of a personal nature, between the two of us last night is being reported on." Read the paper. Someone is reported almost every day in Juneau for doing the very same thing and having the very same excuse as you for their actions. Why should you be treated any differently?

Those in leadership should be setting examples and owning up to their actions, good and not so good.

Shame on you both for using your positions of authority to not be held accountable for your actions, but to only make excuses for them.

Julie Ward


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