Letter to the Editor: Update on Clarence Collins

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Dear Editor:

Thank you for writing an updated story on Clarence Collins as incomplete as it was. Many of us who know Clarence are concerned that he has been through at least three Public Defenders in four months. That’s unconscionable to us, but unfortunately, the way the system is set up. As soon as we establish a relationship with one PD, which doesn’t always allow free flow of information due to client privilege, we must start all over in identifying the new PD and establishing a new relationship; hence, “spinning our wheels.”

I must take issue with Mr. Kent’s assertion that, “the money should have already been used to get him out of jail.” While I, personally, have been working hard to obtain Clarence’s release, I was advised by his Public Defender to hold off on bailing him out. Doing so would force a timetable for his release. Without a proper legal residence, established in advance, Clarence would be forced to live someplace like the homeless encampment under an overpass. That is unacceptable to the people who care for Clarence. Although jail is not an ideal situation for anyone, it beats the alternative society has forced on people like Clarence (living in unsafe, indignant  places like an overpass). There are just so many legal residences for the large number of Registered Sex Offenders. As soon as we find one with an opening we will proceed with bailing Clarence out.

Michael A Gagne


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