Editorial: Petitions Don't Influence Court Decisions

An editorial in the Mountain Press reminds readers that a petition, even if it's signed by more than 16,000 people, is not the way to change a judge's decision to retry those convicted in the 2007 rape, kidnapping, carjacking and killing of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. "Our court system cannot operate the way it is supposed to if people think that overwhelming public opinion and sentiment can sway the legal system. If the public can influence judges by letters, petitions and emails to act a certain way, then we can just hold elections to decide who's innocent and guilty," the paper writes. If the appeals court says Judge Blackwood is right, the paper suggests readers "direct your animus to the man responsible for this legal fiasco," former judge Richard Baumgartner. Read the editorial