The Moore shooting: 436 days and counting
The Times-Standard Editorial
Article Launched: 06/23/2007 04:28:50 AM PDT
Today is the 436th day since Cheri Lyn Moore was killed by a fusillade of police bullets. Was the death of the mentally-ill Eureka woman justifiable homicide, or a criminal act? That's up to the county district attorney, but despite pleas from almost everyone involved -- from the Eureka Police Department to the victim's family -- he says he just hasn't had time to get around to it.
District Attorney Gallegos, the time is now.
Gallegos has broad powers to decide whether to file criminal charges or not, or to send the case to the grand jury. The reason he hasn't done so, he told the Times-Standard this week, is the “bottleneck” in his office: “We're continually responding to new things. . . . The first imperative is to try cases that are currently open.”
The first reason is the Procrastinators' Lament -- there is always something new coming along, so unpleasant tasks can be pushed continually to the end of the line. What is that motto of successful executives: “Delegate, dump, or do”? Gallegos can't delegate or dump this decision -- he must do it himself, and the sooner the better.
He COULD delegate some of his other work. The DA was the lead prosecutor in a recent murder trial, and is taking the same role for an upcoming retrial that may last six months. Surely there are other competent litigators in the office who could help free the boss long enough to act on Moore?
As for the second reason for delay -- about open cases having priority: How much more “open” than an unresolved, high-profile shooting that occurred 14 months ago? It's a case that Police Chief Garr Nielsen calls “an open wound” for his department.
It's Day 436. How many more?