Your article, "Sparks fly in Binkley trial" (Jan. 9), is inaccurate and biased.
Defendant Sargent Binkley was charged with using a gun while robbing a pharmacy. The defendant himself admitted that he had a gun, and both of his victims confirmed it. The only issue was whether he brandished it.
A defense expert produced a surveillance photo ostensibly to show what it would look like if the defendant held a gun. Our prosecutor asked a crime lab employee about the technology discussed by the expert. That employee told her he is not an expert in this area, and could not testify as such.
Nevertheless, after the jury verdict, the employee told the prosecutor that he could not determine whether the photo showed the defendant holding a gun. The prosecutor immediately notified the court and the defense of the employee's statement.
The article omits the fact that the court promptly held a hearing and found that our prosecutor acted properly. There was no misconduct. Further, although the article speculates that the verdict "could have been different with Corpora's testimony," it omits the fact that the judge ruled that such non-expert opinion would have made no difference in light of the victim's testimony that the defendant displayed the gun.
Your readers deserve the complete story.
Dolores A. Carr
Santa Clara County
Editor's Note: Prosecutor Deborah Medved never returned calls from the Voice seeking comment regarding allegations of withholding evidence. This letter is the first response we've received from the District Attorney's office on the matter.
More housing means less water
We want to thank you for the very informative story about the proposed developments at San Antonio Center and Minton's Lumber in the Jan. 30 Voice.
Our idea is that we are at capacity on homes in Mountain View. We also view the idea that every new home development in Mountain View is connected to the water system, using up precious water that is in short supply because of a very serious California drought. Why should established homeowners have heavy restrictions put on them when extra water is consumed by recently completed homes?
Barry and Diane Cavanaugh
The truth about high speed rail
High speed rail or HSR is scarcely on the drawing board yet, but already the sky is falling. A Palo Alto letter forwarded to our neighborhood association invoked Peninsula trains going 220 mph, six tracks, "large towers" and the specter of eminent domain.
I asked an independent engineer who studies Peninsula rail to comment. He concluded: "These concerns boil down to 'Not in my back yard' and ignore any and all published studies or conversations with responsible parties within the HSR authority or Caltrain."
Top speed on the Peninsula would be 125 mph (currently it is around 80 mph). Peninsula trains would use four main tracks (a few locations already have more for freight sidings). The trains would be powered by a 25 kV overhead catenary already planned for Caltrain's electrification. The catenary structures are several feet taller than current trains, but existing trees along the area are much taller. These structures are widely used in Europe, Japan and the Northeastern U.S. And a major reason for running HSR on Caltrain lines is precisely that the right of way already is publicly owned, minimizing property acquisition.
The engineer added that the "six-track" misinformation started around Atherton and has traveled down the Peninsula without correction or clarification.