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Ennis Pursued Genuine Justice

Editor, The Herald:

When I opened my mailbox today and began to pull out the junk mail to throw directly into the trash, I found a particularly offensive political flyer. Although I have come to expect such venom from national and state politicians, I never thought I would see such vile attacks on a local level.

I am speaking of John Marsden's “Syko Sam” flyer. It appears to me that Mr. Marsden is attempting to capitalize on the terrible tragedy that occurred in our community in the Fall of 2009 when four innocent people were brutally murdered. This tragedy certainly did shake the quiet of our community; however no one was more affected by the acts of that person than the families of the victims. Is John Marsden hoping to exploit our collective grief and anger by mailing his political flyer titled “Why is 'Syko Sam' McCroskey Smiling?” to every registered voter in Prince Edward County.

Perhaps we shouldn't rush to judge John Marsden since he is young and inexperienced. When he notes on the flyer that “justice demands nothing less than a trial,” we need to remember that often experience is the only way to seek justice without claiming additional victims. In the case at hand, only those who desired to know all the gory details would have claimed victory. And the toll of victims would have risen to seven instead of four because the elderly parents of the two adults would have certainly have passed away during the pendency of this trial and its multiple appeals.

I think back to the eloquent letter to the Editor published on October 11, 2011 in which Jan Neiderbrock wrote, “Helping me through the legal process was James R. Ennis, the Commonwealth Attorney. He and his office kept me informed. They had to relate terrible, heart-wrenching circumstances. Mr. Ennis did this personally in a kind, caring manner. He explained all potential outcomes and options giving me plenty of time to reflect. Ultimately, the decision about Mark's case was mine. The decision on Emma's case was shared with her maternal grandparents. My decision was respected and honored. The case ended without appear and let me try to move forward. I thank Mr. Ennis and his office for their consideration and extra effort.”

Justice is more than simply punishing the wrongdoer. It balances the need to punish with the needs of those left behind. Our Commonwealth Attorney must have the maturity and broad-mindedness to see the large picture. To elect someone who stands on “nothing less than a trial” and the ultimate punishment is abdicating our belief in a judicial system that weighs the needs of society at-large and the individuals involved.

Jim Ennis has twenty years of experience as Commonwealth Attorney for Prince Edward County, a long enough time to gain much perspective on his job and the community's needs. He doesn't make statements that are absolutes, statements that may come back to haunt him in the future by tying his hands to a predetermined outcome.

I was born and raised in this county and I expect the voters of Prince Edward County to join me in maintaining the decorum of our past and rejecting political opportunists by voting for Jim Ennis on November 8.

Marjorie L. Wall, Esq.

Farmville

(Editor's note: the mailer states it was “Paid for and authorized by Friends of John Marsden”)