Editor's note: The following letters were written by students in Janet Shurat's 10th grade English class at Capac High School.
To the Editor:
Recently, another name involved in the Synagro bribery cases has come to my ear and caught my attention. This name is Sam Riddle. Sam Riddle was ex-Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers' chief of staff. Riddle has been accused of accepting bribes from various people while he worked for Conyers. While others have pled guilty and have faced or await sentencing, Sam Riddle remains a free man. This is wrong! Riddle has committed a crime, and as a result he should suffer the consequences that are outlined by the law. He cannot be trusted to live an honest life as a free man if he gets off the hook this time.
Sam Riddle does not have a reputation of integrity due to this scandal. The character of an honest man requires that he can do the right thing even when no one is watching. All of the bribery deals were staged to happen behind closed doors so no one could see them. This action clearly shows that he is not honest in the least bit.
The mark of a free man should not only be honesty, but also humility and shame. The reason that Riddle would have the audacity to accept the bribe is because he has no shame. If you find this claim far-fetched, I have an example to prove it. During his own trial, Riddle had the nerve to use his cell phone for Facebooking and Twittering. The first part of this that is wrong is there is an unwritten rule for any public place where you are supposed to be quiet and listening. That rule is: Don't use your cell phone. Second, doing anything other than participating in the trial that you are part of is extremely disrespectful toward the judge and jury.
But, under U.S. law, every citizen is innocent until proven guilty in the American justice system. However, Detroit has recently brought forward many characters with actions that display a system built on corruption and not justice; how can we trust Detroit to judge the defendant properly based on the court of law if the ones who are in charge of the law have been proven to be corrupt?
Sam Riddle cannot be trusted to stay within the law if he is not in prison because he has no shame and no integrity. The only reason why I believe he is still a free man is because Detroit's law has been built by corrupt people. The only way to keep cases like these from always ending in mistrials is to raise our future generation the right way with good morals.