Having first moved to Payson in 1971, the time has finally arrived when I feel compelled to respond to some of the comments I've recently read in the Payson Roundup.
I appreciate and applaud the dedication of professional journalism presented to this community by KMOG radio and Payson Roundup. I listened with pointed interest as Blaine Kimball broadcast his recent editorial. Then in the same vein, I read the "OUR VIEW" editorial by ( I assume) Richard Haddad and Brian Beck. All I could think of was "You go guys, right on."
It's refreshing to know that you three gentlemen of the media are not going buckle and bow to the old "small town, good ol' boy, holier than thou, do it my way or else attitude." Payson has grown up. It's time to start conducting ourselves in a manner conducive to the city we've become, and do away with the attitude of the town we've outgrown.
I want to make it very clear that my following comments have nothing to do with the incident in Strawberry that eventful evening, nor do I intend to venture an opinion on the subject. My comments are in response to comments made in this column by two other people. And I present this opinion not in reproach, but simply as food for thought.
To Mr. Waterman of Star Valley:
As you well know, the Bible is contradictory and a matter of individual interpretation. when people quote the Bible, I find it interesting that they are able to find only the scriptures and passages that best present their own personal viewpoint. It's very nice that you can quote the ones advocating forgiveness, but I can only wonder, if you were a friend of the Coopers and sitting on their side of the fence, would you have found the one that say's "an eye for an eye"? Just a question! Food for thought.
To the juror who felt his time was wasted:
Where do you get the unmitigated gall to crucify Judge Dawson for his actions? Let's back this up to when you and the other 11 people on that jury found Roy Haught guilty. Not of the charge of second degree murder that the prosecution presented, but the three lesser charges.
If you felt that strongly that Mr. Haught deserved to spend time in prison, then you should have returned a guilty verdict to the original charge. By your actions, and the actions of the other 11 people with you, you presented Judge Dawson with the window of opportunity to hand down the sentence that he did. Were you trying to assuage your own conscience? Did you feel that you could turn it over to the judge to do your dirty work for you? Be a man! Accept responsibility for your own actions.
From my previous comments, one might think I'm taking sides with the Cooper family. I'm not. I refuse to take sides. I was not there! I don't know what happened! I knew Jim Cooper very well. I liked him. I've known Roy Haught since he was 15 years old. I like him. I've never found either man to have any serious character flaws.