Readers Respond

>> DUI repercussions
Regarding August POV: I greatly enjoyed Jim Wood’s column. I agree totally with his main point, but I’d like to add a perspective. I served as a juror on a very similar case a few years ago (a young man accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana). Serving on a criminal jury (hopefully) really brings home the concepts of “innocent until proven guilty” and “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” In our case, most of us felt the young man was probably not innocent, but the prosecution didn’t prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, one woman was holding out. At one point she said, “I just can’t convince myself he’s innocent.” I gently reminded her that the defense didn’t have to prove innocence; the prosecution had to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The light bulb went on, and she voted “not guilty.” It sounds like there is no way, given the facts in this case, that the jury should not have found the defendant not guilty. It sounds like six of the jurors were “unclear on the concept.”
Paul Brenner, Ross

Thanks for your August POV—as always so interesting and on point. I agree with Jim Wood. With dollars so short, what a waste of funds. What can we do to change this?
Nancy Morris, via e-mail

I was wide-eyed with amazement reading Marin’s August POV. I was in a similar jury pool and found it very enlightening to be instructed to separate our prejudices from the facts of the case and left pretty impressed with the jury selection process even for a relatively small case such as this one. The question Jim Wood asked was whether the laws in Marin are too tough? Sorry to be such a fuss budget, but I don’t think I’d want to be driving behind someone at night with my daughter in the car on Route 37 under the conditions the defendant put himself in that night. Having a few drinks is one thing; smoking marijuana and drinking and speeding suggest a combination to me that isn’t safe. I would prefer he had to think next time about the consequences of his actions in our county, slow down, and smoke his joint when he got home.
Elaine Vaughan, via e-mail

>> Marine Mammal Center
Regarding “Pinniped Paradise” (August 2009), those seals (sea lions?) are adorable! Thanks for shedding light on the center!
Mary Winthrop, Fairfax

>> Editors’ Choice Awards
What a brilliant idea to name the top five places in each town! Loved reading through the issue and about each town—especially appreciated the nod for putting Bungalow 44 in Mill Valley’s top list, what a great honor!
Peter Schumacher, Mill Valley

Thanks for sharing the little facts about each of the towns in the Editors’ Choice Awards. Who knew that you pronounced the ‘G’ in Gnoss Field, I’ve been saying it wrong for years; or the history of Larky the Larkspur Library mascot? And I’m not sure if I can get used to pronouncing Nicasio “Nee-cash-oh” but keep the facts coming!
Jessie P. Daniels, San Rafael

Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity and brevity. Send letters to Marin Magazine, One Harbor Drive, Suite 208, Sausalito, CA 94965. Or e-mail jwood@marinmagazine.com.