Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: DA Wise to Withhold Suspects’ Names Until Charges Filed

letter, LTE

I don’t always agree with the actions of the Lancaster County district attorney. But in the case of the release of names to the public as outlined in the letter published in the Advocate (“When DA Won’t Release Names, Rumors Start Flying,” Nov. 29), I disagree.

In the case of the driver involved in the car crash outside Warwick High School, that driver was in the hospital, unconscious. Until the crash could be investigated and the driver’s culpability ascertained I think it would have been a rush to judgment to publish the driver’s name. The same can be said for the beating incident in Elizabethtown.

Until facts are brought forth which allows the law to be able to charge a person with a crime, releasing the name to the public before is definitely a libelous offense.

You cannot control the rumor mill. It has existed since man learned to communicate. It is just unfortunate that in the internet age it moves through the grapevine with lightning speed. Releasing information prematurely and possibly incorrectly should be a far greater fear than easing the concerns of the community.

DEBRA L. PHILLIPS

Mount Joy Township

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