Courier Letters to the Editor 12-21-16

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Parents seek justice for Simpson

Dear Editor,

My daughter, Suzanna “Anna” Simpson, was found guilty in June of murdering her two children at their home in Dacusville.

The jury took only one hour to make this decision. The judge’s sentence means that Anna, who without question is seriously mentally ill, will die in prison with no chance for parole.

There were no witnesses presented at her trial to tell the jury about how much she loved her children and what a great mom she was. Anna chose to be a stay-at-home mom and gave up a job at a bank. Like most mothers, her life revolved around her family. She never missed going with her children on field trips at school, and she was a volunteer room-mom at Dacusville Elementary, where she helped the teachers and all of the children.

Her husband was the provider financially, and he looked to his wife, Anna, in the same way that many men expect the mom to be the one in the family to provide hands-on health care. One can now see that this was not a good idea for Anna’s situation. A mentally ill person should not be looking after her own care and medicine.

This tragedy, which was irrational and shocking to her family and many friends, was something different from the sweet, kind and caring person we know. Some of us overlooked the many warning signs, thinking “Oh, that’s just Anna. She’ll get over it.”

The forensic doctor chosen by the prosecutor agreed with the doctors for the defense that Anna was not legally responsible for her actions. Anna is among only 10 people out of 1,000 examined who are not legally responsible. She did not deserve a sentence of guilty. “Guilty” and “guilty but mentally ill” means someone with a brain defect will go to prison with little chance of receiving the proper medical help. We have seen in the news where the state was held liable for a mentally ill person dying because of mistreatment in prison.

“Not guilty by reason of insanity” is the only verdict for those who have a serious brain disorder, and only then will they receive proper medical help. While some fear a quick release from this type of confinement, this is not the way it works for those like Anna who are seriously ill. They are kept for years and years while being closely monitored and treated by medical professionals.

Now her older parents are using their retirement time and savings to get justice for Anna. We are wondering why a jury would deny her the medical help she needs by finding her only “guilty,” with no consideration for the abundance of evidence as to her insanity.

Too bad South Carolina is one of the few states where the governor does not have the authority to offer clemency or change a sentence. Anna’s case is being appealed, and there is the possibility of another costly trial for the taxpayers.

Mike Brown

Dad of Suzanna Simpson


The gift of grandkids

Dear Editor,

When God created humans, he must have known that after our children grew up we’d get lonely, so he gave us grandchildren.

Children are our second chance at life.

When you have children, they can possibly achieve your lost dreams by becoming successful.

However, grandchildren are our second chance at being children. They aren’t called grand for nothing. We can get out and play like a child with them, and no one threatens us with a trip to the farm. Funny farm, that is.

We let grandchildren get away with much more than we did our children, don’t we? We seem to become more generous, too. No price too high we won’t pay for them to be happy.

A grandchild’s love is real, too. Grandchildren, as with our children, are an investment in the future. We become old all too soon, don’t we? As we once were, a child, so do we return someday. Even the Bible says, “once a man, twice a child.”

The very child or grandchild you look after and protect today someday, if you live, may someday return the favor. The happiness and joy grandchildren supply is priceless. Grandchildren, they’re enough to make you wish you could live forever, aren’t they?

Eddie Boggs


What good is raising taxes doing?

Dear Editor,

I just got through paying my property taxes and spoke with the county auditor of Pickens County. I asked him what percent of my taxes I just paid went to the School District of Pickens County. His reply was 70 percent.

I think I pay enough taxes to the schools. It is a proven fact that throwing more money at education has not increased academic performance. Concerned Citizens of Pickens County and the majority of the school board has this ideology — the benefits for the common good greatly outweighs the negative implications of a tax increase. That’s Marxism, people! I think that same ideology could be said about people who owned slaves! And that’s what we are becoming — slaves to paying more taxes every year — local, state, and federal!

The budget problems of the schools is with management of our taxes! The SDPC needs to find areas of waste. Maybe they need a time management study to find out which “administrative” jobs are not needed so more money can actually make it into the classroom! But no … I bet you they are going to be spending more money on a nice cozy administration building for the pencil pushers.

One can always come up with “wants” to spend taxpayer money. It is always easier to tax the taxpayer more than to seriously look at the budget and find ways to be more efficient and frugal with other people’s money.

I recently read an article by Walter Williams, a famous syndicated columnist, in which he said “Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he’s poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for him to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep and ensure he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers.”

Here’s my question: Which one of those basic requirements can be accomplished by raising our property taxes? To quote Williams, “If those basic requirements aren’t met, whatever else that is done in the name of education is for naught.”

Johnnelle Raines