In response to DA Maggie Fleming's reaction to my letter (Mailbox, Sept. 17); in my encounters with her department I have not experienced the "excellent work" she refers to. In the case of mental competency of an intellectually challenged homeless defendant, although she can't make a competency determination, when notified that the instrument used to examine for competence was the wrong one, she could have ordered the correct instrument but refused to do so. In the case of the bloodied toddler, the Child Abuse Services Team (CAST) led by her department failed to conduct a comprehensive forensic interview with the child at the time of the incident as required. Instead, they waited almost a year, knowing that a tiny child's memory is vulnerable, defeating the purpose of CAST. In the Howard Street case, why did she take the word of the "credible, neutral observer" over the actual photographs and hospital records of the bully's victims? Is she saying these victims are hurting themselves in order to persecute the bully who has multiple previous assault convictions? That is not credible.
While I am open to, and always hopeful for, positive narratives involving the DA's office, citizens' negative experiences should not be ignored. Fleming's threshold for "provable evidence" seems to be set so high that almost 50 percent of all annual cases are not even being prosecuted. The fact that she brags about that statistic does not instill confidence. Sending a vulnerable intellectually challenged individual to San Quentin while allowing two heinous bullies to remain on the streets is unacceptable.
Hilary Mosher, McKinleyville