LETTERS: Strong commitment to justice; problem with DA’s office

Strong commitment to justice

I’m writing in response to your July 31 editorial, “Restore justice to Denver DA’s office.” Let me assure your readers that, contrary to your headline’s suggestion, the commitment to justice (for all) has never been stronger in the Denver District Attorney’s office. The attorneys in my office are in court every day arguing for appropriate bonds, handling motions and trying cases. Last year alone,

we filed more than 12-thousand criminal cases — obtaining convictions in the vast majority of them — and we are on pace to file even more cases this year.

It has been well-documented that crime increased significantly in major cities across the United States during the Covid pandemic. Denver, unfortunately, was no exception. The reasons for the increase are still not exactly clear — and may never be — but it seems plain to many, if not most, criminologists that the primary factors were the unprecedented social and economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The idea, as stated in your editorial, that my approach to crime-fighting has somehow contributed to the increase in crime is simply not supported by the evidence. (It’s worth noting that at least one major national study — by the Brennan Center for Justice — showed that, during the pandemic, crime increased in major U.S. cities regardless of the political affiliation or policies of a city’s leaders.)

I should also point out that many major crime categories in Denver (including murder, robbery, sexual assault, stolen cars, theft from motor vehicles and public disorder) are now showing declines compared to this time last year.

Overall violent crime and property crime are both down, as well. We still have a ways to go to get to the relatively low crime levels of my first three years in office, but I have no doubt that we will, in fact, get there — and sooner rather than later.

My goals have remained the same since the first day I took office: to make Denver a safer city, to seek justice for crime victims and their families, and to make our criminal justice system as equitable as possible for everyone involved. Backed by my office’s incredibly dedicated prosecutors, investigators and support staff, and partnering with the community and the Denver Police Department, I will continue working to achieve those goals during my remaining time in office.

Beth McCann, District Attorney

Denver

Continuing deterioration

Watching the new Denver Mayor manipulate his first homeless camp clean up looks like more lipstick on a pig. Nothing new here. The recent article in the Gazette mentions the cost per person for the homeless. The number is a staggering $44,000.00. Taxpayers of Colorado are paying for that each and every day. With a little fact-finding research, I was able to see how much money is spent on each public-school student in Colorado. Some interesting facts, pretty much $7,500.00 to $25,000.00 statewide. Low side of course is in El Paso County, high of course in Pitkin County (Aspen).

In the same daily publication of the Gazette is a lengthy article describing how the politics in Colorado have changed from a conservative state to liberal progressive state. It’s very interesting how there can be a direct correlation to the change in politics and the deteriorating way of life in Colorado.

Denver and Aurora have been affected the worst by the shift in Politics. As a lifelong native I can’t seem to find any redeeming value from the new regime. All I see is higher cost of living, no accountability, more crime, more serious crime, more car thefts, more fentanyl deaths, more automobile deaths, and higher taxes and less services. DPS Schools are horrible, and the Aurora Schools are worse. they are just babysitting the kids and enriching the unions. With all the homeless giveaways the homeless population will continue to grow. It appears that this situation will continue to deteriorate.

When are the voters in Denver, Aurora and the front range going to make a change and demand accountability? Seems to me it’s at breaking point. You think it can’t get worse however unless there is a change it will get much worse.

Trig Travis

Denver

Address credit card fees

Policymakers in Washington are currently pushing legislation that would inject competition into the credit card market—something that is sorely needed. Currently, Visa and Mastercard — along with the big banks — are leveraging their considerable market share to hold Colorado merchants hostage.

Every time a customer swipes, inserts, or taps a credit card, businesses are on the hook to pay what’s called a “swipe fee.” And as a business operator, I can tell you firsthand that these charges add up quickly. Nationally, nearly $130 billion was collected in “swipe fees” in 2022—a 20 percent jump compared to the year before.

The Credit Card Competition Act will help address the skyrocketing “swipe fees” by injecting competition into the credit card market. When merchants have more options on how to process customer transactions, the credit card companies will be forced to compete—an environment that will drive down prices, which some have estimated could translate to $15 billion in savings annually.

I urge Colorado’s elected leaders in Washington to support the bill.

Rich Spresser

Denver

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