White's release elicits strong reactions
Regarding "Summing up Gov. Paterson" [Editorial, Dec. 29], John White got off easy with a 2- to 4-year manslaughter sentence. Instead of going inside his house and calling the police, White came out with a .32-caliber gun and fired the shot that killed Daniel Cicciaro - firing into Cicciaro's face at point-blank range.
Apparently, Gov. David A. Paterson thought that any prison sentence for White was an injustice and commuted his sentence after only 168 days. By doing so, Paterson spit in the eye of the Suffolk County jury that convicted White.
Notwithstanding threats and racial slurs by the group of teenagers with Cicciaro, White's use of deadly force against an unarmed teenager showed him to be a coward and a killer. His public thanks to God for justice should offend any fair-minded person.
The governor's failure to tell the victim's family that he was releasing their son's killer early was inexcusable.
Michael J. Gorman
Gov. Paterson's commutation of John White's prison sentence tells me that serving on a jury can be a complete waste of time.
There are no winners here. A liquored-up gang sought out John White's son to do violence, and to that end they traveled some distance to his home. These were not choirboys.
In the ensuing confrontation with a gang bent on mischief, or worse, John White shot and killed a teen. What would have happened if John White didn't possess that gun?
It's too easy to say that John White should have called the police, and of course he should have, but did circumstances allow for that? Perhaps John White could have retreated into his home and hid until police arrived, but that isn't the way events unfolded.
Gov. Paterson, now finished with electoral office, granted John White clemency, an act within his authority, while Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota played to his electoral base with the absurd assertion that the governor should have involved the Cicciaros in his executive decision.
There are no winners here: Young Daniel Cicciaro is dead. John White's life, after defending his family at his own home, is forever changed.
Robert W. Mays
I have one word to say regarding Gov. Paterson's decision to release John White early - bravo!
Scott R Micca