While our star-spangled banner flies free over Cuba, Joanne Chesimard, a convicted killer of a New Jersey state trooper and an escaped prisoner, lives unrestrained in that nation. I don't understand resuming relations with Cuba before this most important law enforcement issue is resolved. She is on the FBI's list of "most wanted terrorists."
President Barack Obama sold out our country for political reasons. These deals always benefit someone else. Doesn't America count anymore?
Kevin Roberts, Brentwood
Jonathan Pollard case not so simple
Shame on Noah Feldman for the op-ed on Jonathan Pollard ["Shame, nightmare of Pollard's case," July 30]. As an American Jew, my loyalty to this country is solid and substantial, but it's not blind. It's based on the principles that our country stands for.
Was Pollard spying for Israel? Absolutely! Should he be punished for it? Absolutely! But let the punishment fit the crime. That is the real issue. Why did Pollard get a life sentence? The government offered him a lesser sentence in a plea bargain, and he accepted his guilt on that basis. Then the government reneged.
This to Feldman is a minor issue. Many prominent lawyers, such as Alan Dershowitz, consider this a major violation of due process. Newsday should publish an op-ed articulating this position, and let the reader decide.
Sol Brodsky, Long Beach
Voters can help change pension law
I read with great humor the letters of disdain for politicians who are collecting pensions while in jail ["Pensions after crime?," Aug. 16].
Our politicians smile at a meeting and fix a pothole and then get elected year after year to enact the very laws that permit them to do this. How about at the next election, if they are in, vote them out. No exceptions.
Richard Hunt, Levittown
Intrusive drones shouldn't be legal
I cannot believe that Newsday's editorial board thinks it's OK to fly drones over crowded beaches -- with zoom cameras, no less ["Lawmakers out of focus on beach-drone bill," Editorial, July 31].
How would you like your daughter to have a man put his face three inches from her as she sunbathes? That's akin to the view you'll get from a zoom camera attached to a drone.
Also, where's the logic of allowing a 20-pound drone with sharp, high-speed blades to hover over a beach crowded with people? Unlike a kite, when a drone hits someone, it could maim and cause serious damage. It's common sense.
Matthew Raver, Plainview
Put a stop to drones. Have a special place where they can fly, or license the operators. Let's not wait until we have a plane crash or some other disaster.
Al Lewan, Seaford
Pass new protections for voting rights
Aug. 6 marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, perhaps the most important civil rights legislation ever passed by Congress ["Voting milestone," News, Aug. 7].
The act won significant bipartisan support and prohibited discriminatory voting methods, which have denied or limited racial, ethnic and language minorities the ability to vote. Congress reauthorized this law four times, always with bipartisan support.
However, the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder weakened the U.S. Department of Justice's enforcement power over voting rights.
A legislative remedy is simple. Two bills have been introduced in Congress -- the Voting Rights Amendment Act and the Voting Rights Advancement Act. They would provide suitable remedies for voting discrimination or suppression. The latter bill is more comprehensive.
It's ironic that while we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the original act and honor its ideals and commitments, Congress has failed to fulfill its role by passing remedial bills. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate has scheduled hearings on the new voting rights bills, nor have any committee or floor votes taken place.
Another presidential election year is approaching, and we have fewer voting protections than at any time since 1965. This is leadership by Congress?
David Stonehill, Merrick
Editor's note: The writer is a lawyer and the communications chairman for Voting Rights Forward, an advocacy organization.