Letters to the Editor, Nov. 28

Nov. 27, 2013 @ 08:40 PM

Justice for some

In the United States, we have this belief that people can actually pay their debt to society and that we have a democracy that promises liberty and justice for all.  

As a community volunteer at Orange County Correctional, I took a man out to buy a car recently.  He had been released after more than 15 years in prison.  He had been working at a work-release job and had saved up enough money to get him started.  He took a week off from his job to allow him to buy a car to use to get to work.  The only picture identification he had was a prison ID.  Imagine showing that to a salesman or using it to open a bank account.  The prison system will not assure a valid picture ID prior to release.  My friend wanted to buy a car and could have made the payments, but he had no credit record.

He paid cash for an older car but was unable to get it a tag for it until the state mailed him a driver’s license (more than a week).   Job opportunities will be scarce with his record even though his crime was years ago. He can’t have a gun in his house, car or work site.  This is a new crime unique to ex-felons.  If Republicans get their way, he might never regain the right to vote.

In my view, his debt will never be paid.  We have justice only for some.

Larry Bumgardner


Moment to make history

As a UNC student interested in Global Health, I was glad to see the guest column “Global Fund fights AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria” (Nov. 17). Ending the AIDS epidemic that has killed over 30 million people will be an historical event.  An AIDS-free generation remains within our reach.  

 The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria has been an effective tool in the battle against these killer diseases.  Thanks to the Global Fund and other committed efforts, new AIDS infections are declining in countries most affected by the epidemic, more countries are in a position to eliminate malaria deaths, and TB deaths will continue to fall. 

Continued U.S. leadership is vital in the race to end these scourges.  Our three year, $5 billion pledge at the December Global Fund conference would not be a big leap, but basically continues our contribution at current levels. It will leverage other donor countries to contribute their fair share as well.  This is our moment to make history.

Youmna Elkamhawy