Letters to the Editor

Stankewitz guilty of murder: Letters to the editor, May 15, 2019

Douglas Stankewitz, 60, is the longest tenured condemned inmate at San Quentin State Prison. He will now serve life without parole.
Douglas Stankewitz, 60, is the longest tenured condemned inmate at San Quentin State Prison. He will now serve life without parole. Fresno Bee file

Stankewitz guilty of cold-blooded murder

I read your editorial on Sunday regarding the decision of the district attorney not to seek the death penalty in the Douglas Stankewitz case because of alleged mitigating factors outweighing the aggravating factors.

First, I was the original prosecutor in this case over 40 years ago, which was tried twice. Many of your alleged “facts” are simply incorrect. Most of what is “mitigation” was presented to the jury and rejected. Second, nobody who actually participated in that case, including myself, was actually consulted on the decision by the D.A. Third, Stankewitz committed that premeditated murder after being released from the Youth Authority for participating in the shooting of a CHP, carjacking, and the brutal attempted murder of an elderly man. He escaped during trial and was waiting for automatic weapons from the North Fork area so he could “kill a cop” when we recaptured him.

This was a brutal, premeditated murder of his victim, Theresa Greybeal. I have handled hundreds of murders as a prosecutor and as a judge and this was one of the most cold blooded I have ever seen. I could support telling the public the truth, which is that given the governor’s current moratorium on the death penalty and the fact it would be another 20 years for it to be imposed, it makes little sense to pursue it except as a matter of principle.

On the other hand, telling the public that the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors simply causes disgust with the system and lack of confidence. The public should be told the truth and that is the truth.

Your editorial said Stankewitz was “smirking.” There was a reason for that.

James A. Ardaiz, Fresno

River Park brawl a rare occurrence

In regards to the brawl at River Park shopping center, I would not deem it as unsafe. Although security could not help put the issue to a halt, this incident is a rather rare occurrence and should not be a worry of people looking to go spend their time there.

While fights and other issues may happen at any shopping center, I believe it would be best to either employ more security or ensure that the security is equipped with the correct tools to calm a similar scenario down.

Charles Kinder, Fresno

More littering means more pollution

There has been an increasing amount of littering in Fresno, and it may only get worse.

I see random plastic bottles, aluminum cans, diapers, random scraps of paper and Styrofoam cups. The chemicals from these items seep out and can pollute plants, trees and the air. All this can cause health problems to people, animals, harm young children as their brains are still developing.

As the littering increases, there are less things being properly disposed of, and that is not good. Usually the littering is not bad, but I see more and more happening.

Joshua Lebron, Fresno