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Comments about ‘Matthew Stewart family told to stop asking for defense donations, again’

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Published: Tuesday, March 6 2012 9:16 a.m. MST

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RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

What he did was pretty heinous but he still does deserve a defense.

However, a guilty plea would save us all a lot of time and grief.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

So why don't they get the required permit and then solicit to their heart's content? Where this may be a capital offense the suspect will get all the defense he is entitled to .... and a whole lot more besides.

ParkCityAggie
Park City, Ut

So the guy is growing weed in his home. We all know that was the fact. But put yourself in this guys shoes for one second. You are asleep in your home when someone suddenly kicks down your door, you wake from a dead sleep to find six people in your house with guns, you pick your gun up and start shooting. Well that's what happened here! Was it terrible and reprehensible? Yes. But the bigger issue/debate should be is it worth risking the lives of our police officers to bust someone on a narcotics charge? Why serve a no knock warrant on a guy growing weed? It's not like he's going to flush a bunch of plants down the toilet. Even so, is it worth the risk we put our police officers in? Show if this guy was on the loose and wanted for violent crimes, sure kick the door down! But for drugs? No, we should not be issuing no-knock warrants. What if a person was wrongly accused? Had children in the house? Imagine how traumatized they would be to see 6 dudes kicking down your door!?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I would contribute IF AND ONLY IF he committed to contribute 100% of the proceeds to the upbringing of the children he left without a father.... or to paying the medical bills and sufferning that will need to be endured by the men he shot.

Unless he commits to use the money for these purposes (which is not likely)... he won't be seeing one penny from me.

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

too many rambo movies have be watched. the guy worked at walmart and the cops knew that. why the no knock, kick the door in approach. police procedures need to be revisited.

Shawnm750
West Jordan, UT

@ParkCityAggie - So your argument is that we should just let criminals continue to roam free, just because they are selling drugs, no doing violent things? The man had an arsenal of weapons at his house. He continued to fire at police even when they identified themselves. He had previously told a friend that if police ever tried to take his marijuana stash he'd go down shooting. I think that qualifies as a violent criminal.

Police had already tried to serve multiple other "Knock and Announce" warrants but had never been able to get him to come to the door. My guess is that he was probably hiding (not sleeping) on those occasions too. How long are they supposed to just keep knocking on his door hoping he'll answer?

SP
Salt Lake City, UT

These comments are much better than the article. Great points on both sides.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

I do wonder how legal it is; for the government to require its permission; to raise funds for your defense; to protect yourself from governmental prosecution.
Just like the Âsledgehammer to kill a fly approach that the Ogden police used in this case.
Now the prosecutor is turning this into a constitutional appeal case.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Vidar,
You don't have to worry too long and hard about how LEGAL it is for the government to have some regulations on what was being represented as TAX DEDUCTIBLE fund raising. Of course the government would have some regulations regarding that.

But I think your main concern was that he needs MONEY for his defense. Well that's just not true. He has the right to a defense, and if he can't afford representation, good top quality representation will be provided at the tax payer's expense. You don't have to worry about his constitutional rights. They are NOT being violated by not letting him advertise that funds donated to him are tax deductible (when they aren't). And you don't need to worry about his defense. If the defense he is given proves to be incompetent (which is rare) he can get a re-trial.

You don't need to worry about him TOO much. This is nowhere NEAR a constitutional appeal case. It's no different than any other case before the courts.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I disagree, this is a death penality case. Everything that happens will be up for appeal. 25 years from now, this case may be before the united states supereme court, questioning if it is unconstitutional for the government to restrict a person from collecting money for their defense.
An indigent person is not required to accept a public defender if they do not want to.

Bearone
Monroe, UT

I am wondering why this family is being singled out by the state for soliciting funds when after most tragic events, the news advises us that donations can be sent to any _____bank in so and so's name-----

If they were telling people it was tax deductible, then that was wrong--they do need IRS approval for that and that approval takes a while.

I think the state is just picking on this family. Their attorney needs to immediately get a restraining order against the state prohibiting the state from interfering with fund raising efforts. Then fil a lawsuit against the state for that interference.

BTW---I do NOT think that wt he did is right---I think he is guilty and should face what the jury decides. I will not be contributing to his fund.

ted001
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Look, I don't like the guy but at this point the permit is applied for so it would show good faith that his web-site would be allowed to collect donations for his defense expenses.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

So let the family of this murder suspect follow the law and thereafter ask for all the donations they can get.

Personally I'd rather donate that money to the family of the murdered police officer who will never come home again to his wife and children.

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