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Aftermath of a tragedy: Slaying of Rio Rancho Police officer Gregg Benner prompts heated criticism of judicial system

DA, others should resign

DISTRICT ATTORNEY Kari Brandenburg says of Andrew Romero’s plea deal that “These things are too complex to blame on one person.” In the DA’s office, and also in the justice system, what was there not to know about Andrew Romero and why is it so complex?

Being known as a habitual criminal, possessing a firearm as a felon, in possession of a stolen vehicle and also involved in drug trafficking, it seems to me that the DA’s office and also the justice system should have known in advance that Romero was definitely going to be a real threat to the community at large if he was ever put back out on the street again.

Which is exactly what happened with the shooting death of Rio Rancho police officer Gregg Benner when Romero was looking for another place to rob after he was turned loose.

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Brandenburg should stop the drama: No more complaints; no more excuses; do her community a favor and just resign.

Those in the justice system that were jointly responsible with the DA’s office for Romero’s release should do the honorable thing and also resign before their misguided actions cause another needless tragedy.

TIMOTHY T. KNIGHT SR.

Bosque Farms

Voters: Act in elections

FIRST DISTRICT Attorney Kari Brandenberg was trying to blame a sweet young fledgling attorney for her failures in the Andrew Romero case.

Then in Thursday’s paper it’s the Justice System – but not poor Kari, she’s faultless.

Personally, I think Attorney General Hector Balderas gave her a pass on her son’s case, one big Democrat to another.

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I think she’s a disgrace to the office she holds. I sincerely hope the voters remember her performance accurately come the next election.

DANNY OLIVAS

Albuquerque

Grateful for the police

IT IS INDEED a sad day when a police officer is gunned down, this time while making a routine traffic stop.

Officer Gregg Benner was shot and killed while doing his job, apparently by a lifelong criminal.

I hope those out there who cry police brutality at every opportunity, as well as those who immediately think lawsuit at any opportunity, think about what police departments throughout the country face each day.

In a case some time back, an individual hijacked a car and then taunted the police, saying come and get him if they can.

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In that case, the police knew what they faced. In a traffic stop, there is always a risk, albeit generally not the same level of risk.

In either case, the officer puts his life on the line to protect us from harm.

Rather than condemn their acts as being brutal, we the public should consider what they do every day and what they face, and thank them for putting their lives at risk to protect us.

The streets and society itself are not as they were when I was a youngster growing up in Albuquerque. Those are the facts of life, facts not created by the police force.

Be thankful for having someone risk their life every day for you.

JIM THOMTE

Albuquerque

Keep criminals behind bars

THE LOSS OF Rio Rancho police officer Gregg Benner allegedly at the hands of a habitual criminal is not acceptable.

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If you are not outraged, you are part of the problem.

Yes, our district attorney’s office made mistakes in this particular case, but that’s not the only problem. If you have ever voted for a judge and/or legislator known to be sympathetic to the criminal element in our society, you are part of the problem.

We need to do everything possible to keep habitual criminals behind bars and anything less than a full effort in that regard is not OK.

If we need more incarceration space, let’s start building.

If additional tax revenue is needed to see that these thugs stay off the street, I will vote for same every chance I get.

GARY LUECK

Albuquerque

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DA must take responsibility

IT WOULD BE so refreshing to just one time hear District Attorney Kari Brandenburg take responsibility for the actions of her office. She always seems to either make excuses or blame someone else.

SHARON EASTMAN

Bosque Farms

DA, judge should be fired

AFTER WATCHING the heartwarming memorial service for officer Gregg Benner on Thursday, I am outraged at our judicial system that allows a fine human being like officer Brenner to lose his life because we have a district attorney that can’t do anything but point fingers at others and a judge that says she didn’t have his background.

DA Kari Brandenburg, it is your job to keep these kind of people off the street, not give them a plea deal because your office is backlogged. It is your job to know what your people are doing and how they are doing it.

And Judge Cristina Jaramillo, how dare you use the excuse that you didn’t know the background of Andrew Romero; it’s your job to know his background. How can you pass a sentence on someone you know nothing about?

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I am so ashamed to even know their names. They both have done such a disservice to this community and this state. They both should be fired immediately and held for the death of a fine officer.

I hope the Albuquerque and Rio Rancho communities do everything in their power to remove them both from our judicial systems. They do not deserve to be a part of it.

Both communities mourn the loss of a fine and good officer.

CAROL GORDON

Albuquerque

Attorneys are accessories

THE ATTORNEYS who made the plea deals for Andrew Romero should be accountable as accessories to the first-degree murder of officer Gregg Benner.

THOMAS ADAMS

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Albuquerque

Know criminals’ histories

AUTHORITY CAN be delegated, but responsibility cannot.

Releasing violent career criminals is a proven failure. It looks like there are a couple of thousand criminals doing a lot of damage to the security of the citizens of Albuquerque and New Mexico.

This isn’t that hard to fix; however, it does require elected officials willing to take their responsibilities seriously.

It is unbelievable that the background of a prisoner is not completely known to all parties involved in a criminal case, plea or no plea.

The police need help. The citizens need help. Once a career criminal is captured, keep them in prison as long as possible.

JOEL BEER

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Albuquerque

We really need a strong DA

FINGER-POINTING will not bring back officer Gregg Benner.

What we can do is elect a district attorney who will prosecute and judges who will give habitual criminals the maximum sentence. What we have now are professional politicians who aren’t doing their jobs.

Albuquerque, pay attention next election!

M. ANN LOOK

Albuquerque

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