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What Happened To Fouad Kaady: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Inquest wouldn't help

Thursday, November 9, 2006

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Inquest wouldn't help

from the Oregonian

The Oregonian has called for a public inquest into the death of Fouad Kaady (editorial, Nov. 1). A grand jury has already listened carefully to the sworn testimony of 40 witnesses and visited the scene of the shooting. In addition, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts released the police reports after the grand jury's decision.

I do not believe a public inquest would further the important discussion that is ongoing about officer-involved shootings. Under Oregon statutes, a public inquest may be ordered to determine the "cause and manner of death." In this case, those are well known. Furthermore, a public inquest is a flawed legal process. The statutes do not clearly state whether the rules of evidence apply or who may participate. An inquest can turn into a forum to air grievances or personal opinions.

In the last legislative session, Senate Bill 301 would have required that grand jury proceedings in officer-involved shooting deaths be transcribed and made public. Unfortunately, it didn't pass. It would have provided a better way to inform the public. I encourage our legislators to approve it in the next session.

District Attorney
Clackamas County

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