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Byline Burton

Lynn Burton

After six unreturned phone calls to the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s offices in Gunnison and Montrose, this columnist can only speculate about what’s going on with last November’s alleged voter fraud cases in Marble.So, speculate we will. Here are the top 10 reasons DA Wyatt Angelo, and Deputy DA Geoff Mims might be refusing to elaborate about what’s going on in the cases.10. “Voter fraud” was accidentally entered into the DA’s computer as “Boater fraud,” and nobody in the DA’s office knows exactly what boater fraud is.9. Nobody wants to go to Texas to question the suspects, because it’s too hot down there.8. The suspects have an unlisted telephone number, so the DA can’t figure out how to get in touch.7. The DA prefers to let suspects come to him rather than the other way around, and these suspects will be coming back to Marble this summer.6. The DA is completely unaware that Marble is in his jurisdiction.5. The DA is afraid to get involved with anything having to do with Marble, because it’s a wild place up there, and some residents have been known to do whatever they want.4. The case is an ugly can of worms, and nobody in their right mind would want to open something like that.3. The DA is still looking for the smoking gun, or in this case, the smoking ballot box.2. In the words of Homer J. Simpson, “Can’t someone else do it?”1. The DA is simply too busy to return newspaper reporter phone calls. So, the only solution is for everyone in Marble to call him, if they want to know what’s going on.And that last one is the deal. The main way for residents in a town like Marble to know what the 7th Judicial District is doing is for a newspaper reporter to pick up the phone, call the DA, find out what’s going on, then write a story on it. Among other things, this approach saves a busy DA from having to answer dozens of calls from individual Marble residents who have the right to know what’s going on.The Supreme Court enters its final term in June, so it’s time to play “Match Wits with the Robes.”The Los Angeles Times listed six big cases that are coming up. One case pertains to the constitutionality of states giving parents vouchers so their kids can attend parochial schools. Does this practice violate the separation of church and state? Well, it certainly would seem to violate the separation of church and state, unless the state has found a way to pay for those vouchers without using tax dollars from citizens who may not agree with all those religions.Another case will determine whether a state can impose the death penalty on a murderer who is mentally retarded. Isn’t it time the United States got rid of the death penalty altogether … except for when a murderer asks for it? To set the stage for that one, the death penalty would be abolished, but murderers wouldn’t be allowed visits from friends or family, exercise yards, group sing-alongs with other prisoners, books, TV, radio, the Internet or anything other than Morse Code for tapping on pipes to fellow convicts.One case will decide whether high schools can force students participating in extracurricular activities to undergo random drug tests. This one is a no-brainer, and the judges had better vote 9-0 against this type of drug testing or they’re out of their minds. On the other hand, if drug testing for extracurricular activities is upheld, it could lead to other interesting cases. Like, what if a school’s glee club was not tested as much as the football team? Could the football team sue, demanding that the same percentage of singers as linebackers get tested?Finally, one case will rule on whether door-to-door solicitors must register and obtain a permit, or does this violate their free-speech rights? This case was brought by Jehovah’s Witnesses against a small town in Ohio. Will any of the judges be insightful enough to write an opinion that leads off, “You know, the real solution is for everyone to answer their doors buck naked to get rid of these pests. That’s what we ought to do.”Lynn Burton is staff writer for the Post Independent.


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