Regarding “These new state hires could help cut down North Carolina’s rape kit backlog” (Dec. 9): The legal maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied” can be paraphrased as “Justice delayed is perpetrators empowered.” This echoes the fact that not only are there thousands of DNA samples backlogged in North Carolina, but some are also being thrown away by the thousands. Considering that some of these kits were submitted as evidence in murder and rape cases compounds the total disregard of the victims’ rights to have their cases processed as guaranteed by the U.S. and state constitutions. Not to mention the trauma experienced by some of the victims during the collection of this evidence.
While budgeting the money to deal with the backlog, state leaders must consider the true cost of not making use of this valuable tool to fight crime: cold cases, repeat offenders who don’t get caught and resources spent trying to track down a suspect who is already incarcerated. The cost of processing the massive amount of DNA collected from investigations and from convicted felons entering the correctional system can be measured in dollars and cents. But the toll on victims and the general safety of law abiding citizens is immeasurable. And that is truly a crime if it is allowed to continue.
J. Peder Zane’s column “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be a modern lifeline” (Dec. 5) is irresponsibly written and misleads North Carolinians about our renewable energy future.
“Natural gas is clean.” Burning natural gas releases less CO2 than coal, but its extraction and transportation releases methane, a greenhouse gas much more powerful than CO2. Investing in natural gas means releasing more methane into the atmosphere, and is reckless.
“We can export natural gas to China.” China is dedicated to lowering emissions, investing in renewables and developing cleaner coal. Building the ACP to supply a hypothetical market for natural gas in China is economically unwise.
“The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.” Batteries.
“The free market will provide renewables when they are affordable.” Energy companies, as regulated monopolies, are guaranteed a rate of return on fossil fuels; they don’t follow the rules of the free market. Therefore, investing in fossil fuels only serves to profit energy companies, while discouraging and extending the transition to lower cost renewables.
“We wouldn’t have modern life without fossil fuels.” Using medicinal leeches as anticoagulants was a practice that was once part of society. Like fossil fuels, it should stay in the past.