Originally created 03/10/99

Discusses verdict in Marine pilot case 031099 - The Augusta Chronicle



Re the March 5 "Jury rules captain not guilty" article on the trial of the Marine Aviator Capt. Richard Ashby: After theverdict was read a prosecutor, Maj. Stu Crouch, said to the relatives of the victims, "I'm sorry."

I have to ask Major Crouch, sorry for what? Is he sorry that Captain Ashby will not spend the rest of his life in prison? Is he sorry he may have to let others go without a trial? Is he sorry he may have to find someone else to be responsible for the accident? Is he sorry that eight officers of the jury were able to find a truth other than the one he presented?

The jury broke with recent precedent. Not one member of the jury told us how he would vote before the trial began. They did not limit the number of witnesses to be heard. They did not set time limits for testimony. They were not told to be quiet or go to jail. By the telling of all the facts, a "not guilty" verdict was reached.

Had the Marines tried O.J. Simpson, instead of Los Angeles County, and tried Bill Clinton, instead of the United States Senate, Major Crouch might have not had to feel "sorry" for losing a case to the truth.

Charles F. Hafey,Augusta