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Jasper Edge The Two Fisherman MOB MUTILATES HANGMAN EDITORIAL

Thursday, January-16-14

BY MICHAEL FOSTER

In the aftermath of Thomas Delaneys hanging, a majority of the towns residents gathered outside the court house, forming into a crowd which quickly turned to angered mob when the hired hangman K. Smith exited the building. This court case and sentence has been very controversial and sensitive due to the fact that the defendant, Delaney, was one of our own. Delaney had beaten Mathew Rhinehart to death after he found Rhinehart molesting his wife. Because of these circumstances the town sheriff says he was expecting some trouble but the reality was far from anticipated. I was in the crowd, fulfilling my duty as newspaper reporter. I felt no anger towards the hangman, in fact I pitied him because he was only doing his job. Such violence has not been seen here since Walter Jenkins execution twenty five years ago. Authorities are not yet sure how they will deal with this event, but are saying that actions such as these are strongly discouraged and those who are to blame should be punished. A problem arises here, because no one is quite sure who started the riot. Luckily no property was damaged and only a few minor injuries were recorded. This is the first time Mr. Smith has visited our town, a fact I am sure we are all grateful for, and after his unfortunate reception I dont think he will return. He seemed quite rattled by the incident but refused to press charges and quickly and quietly left town. This incident has encouraged many to take a step back and see the floors in our justice system, and security. Mayor OBrian says that yesterday was an ugly blot in our books, but it only highlights areas for improvement there is a town meeting to discuss these issues next Thursday evening. I for one believe that the citizens of this town should be ashamed of their violent outbreak, beating Mr Smith and shouting insults. I ask the reader, how would our legal system be enforced if men such as Smith did not simply do their jobs. Smith had no part in the conviction and sentencing of Delaney, he was just the hand that delivered the sentence. The public should be focusing their efforts on persuading our elected leaders to reform the justice system, and give people such as Delaney a fair trial. Dissatisfaction with the courts decision escalated and focused in on this one man, the man who tightened the noose. What was justified sadness at the death of our own turned into unjustifiable anger at a man only doing his job. Authorities apologize to Mr. Smith and hope that we may learn from our mistakes.

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