A Savannah monitor lizard on display at a prior Long...

A Savannah monitor lizard on display at a prior Long Island Reptile Expo. Credit: Ed Betz

An impartial jury is not an impossibility

As someone who remembers 30 years back, I find it amusing that so much concern has been expressed about the likelihood of finding 12 impartial jurors and six impartial alternates in the unfolding Donald Trump hush-money criminal trial [“7 jurors seated in hush-money trial,” News, April 17].

In 1993, Colin Ferguson killed six people and wounded 19 others in a Long Island Rail Road massacre. Ferguson refused to avoid trial with an insanity plea and chose to represent himself at trial.

There was seemingly nobody in Nassau County who didn’t know about the mass murder. And yet the system worked. Hundreds of jurors were paraded through the Mineola courtroom, and finally a jury of 12 Nassau County residents was selected, individuals who took an oath to listen to the evidence and decide only on the evidence as to whether Ferguson was guilty.

The system worked in the Ferguson case as it has in so many other criminal cases, and the system will work once again in the Trump case. Let’s have faith in the system and in the people who make it work.

— Mike Polansky, Plainview

Extramarital affairs not just one party

I was bemused by the reader who wrote that “Democrats seem more concerned with sexual liberation than the destruction of a family that often can be brought on by extramarital affairs” [“Solid family structure is on its way out,” Letters, April 14].

As a Democrat who is not OK with extramarital affairs, it sounds to me that the reader, in bashing Democrats, might be considering voting for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

And I loved the irony of his letter being published on the day before Trump went on trial for illegally paying hush money to an adult film star to apparently cover up an extramarital liaison.

— Ray Boivie, Kings Park

A reader seems to be accusing Democrats of abandoning morality by eliminating the law against adultery. It has been proved time and time again that you cannot legislate morality.

From prohibition to sodomy laws, people are going to do whatever pleases them. Has anyone ever considered not committing adultery because they feared arrest?

— Perry Gale, Medford

Safety comes before revenue in subways

The NYPD plans to flood the subway system with 800 more police officers to stem the massive problem of fare evasion [“More officers for subways,” News, March 26].

Subway fare evasion cost the Metropolitan Transportation Authority $285 million in 2022. An NYPD transit chief said, “Blatant evasion at the turnstiles remains one of the primary complaints of law-abiding subway riders and the MTA.”

This article, along with the MTA’s new congestion pricing plan, makes it crystal clear that the MTA’s top three priorities seem to be revenue, revenue and revenue. If you ask the riding public, the No. 1 priority should be rider safety.

The more serious problems plaguing the subway system are the stabbings, shootings, beatings and innocent passengers shoved onto the tracks.

Scanners could be a step in the right direction [“Scanners in subway raise concern,” News, April 16].

I hope the MTA spends more of its revenue on rider safety.

— John Campanella, Albertson

Don’t scale down warnings on lizards

Reptiles are sensitive animals that require specialized care, yet at the Long Island Reptile Expo, thousands are hawked in cramped boxes without food and water like inanimate merchandise [“LI Reptile Expo no longer has home for event,” News, March 20].

They’re sold to people who often buy them on impulse with little to no knowledge of their proper care and special needs for space, heat, humidity, lighting and more.

Not only would this have taught all the wrong lessons to students at Suffolk Community College, but it also would endanger the animals and the public. According to a 2017 study, 75% of “pet” reptiles die within the first year, in part due to these species’ inherent low adaptability to artificial environments.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that even healthy-looking reptiles can carry salmonella and that infants, seniors and those with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illness or death.

New York State has already said no to cruel puppy, bunny and kitten mills by banning the future sales of them starting in November, but reptile mills are worse.

The Reptile Expo was operating in violation of the Islip Town code, but expos trading in cruelty should not be welcome anywhere on Long Island, regardless of local regulations.

— John Di Leonardo, Moriches

The writer is executive director of Humane Long Island.

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