The rule of law
I read Marcy Stamper’s article in the April 28 Methow Valley News about Arian Noma with interest.
Having practiced law in Okanogan county for 30 years, I have worked with many prosecutors. Many cases are dismissed for lack of evidence, recalcitrant witnesses or prosecutorial/police misconduct. Those charged with crimes are “alleged criminals” until found guilty by a jury of their peers. Most cases never reach trial and are dealt with by plea agreements. Unfortunately, many prosecutors force defense counsel go to the wire even when they have a losing case.
While legal, such behavior borders on unethical in the sense that caseloads grow to unbearable levels while innocent defendants are forced to sweat out the process, often capitulating to a lesser plea rather than risk conviction.
I found Arian Noma to be among the best prosecutors I have ever worked with. He was reasonable, fair, consistent and equable in all his dealings with me and fellow attorneys with whom I practiced. If Mr. Noma had a dog of a case he called it as such and dismissed it in a timely fashion.
It is disappointing to hear of the No More Noma group hiding behind the anonymous cloak of cyberspace. Their purported concern for “ failing to prosecute criminals” speaks to a misconception held by many in society that those charged with crimes are automatically criminals.
To publish the names of defendants charged with alleged violent crimes for which they were never convicted is despicable and cowardly. The folks behind No More Noma didn’t have the integrity to identify themselves but delighted in castigating Mr. Noma for failing to disclose all of his “nationalities.”
Mr. Noma has one nationality, namely that of a United States citizen. His lineage is completely irrelevant to the issue of his character or prosecutorial judgment.
Our criminal justice system is based on the philosophy that it is better to absolve multiple alleged criminals than to imprison a single innocent person. We should all be grateful for the rule of law and our government employees who attempt to carry out its purpose.
Thanks to Gina McCoy for her excellent letter in the May 5 issue. But we don’t have to wait for a more enlightened book from Bill Gates. David Attenborough’s even more famous book, “A Life on our Planet,” was published in 2020, Additionally AldoLeopold.org will let anyone access the latest edition of “A Sand County Almanac” with the forward by Barbara Kingsolver, which gives advice about how to talk to, and more importantly listen to, conservative Republicans and maybe liberal, but still less-informed people.
Tom and Sonya Campion are exemplary examples of our own Methow Valley, superbly well informed and well-off green activists. These two philanthropists are probably trying, right now after reading Gina’s letter, to reeducate billionaires such as Bill Gates.
It’s a smaller, but still formidably complicated world out there in the 1%. They’re isolated from reality in many of their own unique ways. I know this personally from my long career as a mountain and heli-ski guide, national park ranger/naturalist, and sign-maker for many of the rich folks moving here. As Gina pointed out, we all live in our own unique information bubbles, “even me and thee, but sometimes I’m not so sure about thee.” Of all those I’ve read however, I think Attenborough, Leopold and Kingsolver have best explained real world biology, and humanity’s tragically very limited understanding of it.