Fri, Oct. 18

Editorial: Rush to judgment ignores basics tenets of justice

In the instant-access immediate-gratification world we live in today, the concept of a slow-moving system of justice is a hard concept to understand.

But in the aftermath of last week’s tragic stabbing death of a young Cottonwood man, a thorough, exhaustive, slow-moving examination of the evidence is absolutely necessary.

As of Tuesday morning, no charges had been filed in this tragic case. That despite there is no dispute that one of the 19-year-old men stabbed the other and caused his death.

The issue that police must sort through is the claim that this was a case of self-defense with three men attacking one. Dwight D’Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, said that since the incident in Verde Village last week, a number of people have come forward. “We are still interviewing people and collecting facts,” D’Evelyn said. After all the documentation is compiled, the information will be sent to the County Attorney’s Office for a further review of the facts, said D’Evelyn.

A rush to file charges in this case would most certainly be an injustice. Remember back to December 2008 when a Cottonwood man shot another man twice in a grocery store parking lot. Police determined that was a clear-cut case of self-defense as the other man was attacking him with a “medieval ax.” There is such a thing as self-defense, even if it results in the death of another person.

On the other hand, we don’t want to see a quick self-defense rush to judgment in this case. A kid is dead. It’s a horrible situation for all involved.

That’s why it’s best we all exercise a little patience here and let police and prosecutors do their job.

It takes time to do it right. The wheels of justice move slowly for good reason.

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