!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! WE HEAR FROM PETER MOORE’S MOM and FAMILY … WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE PPD APPEAL OF THE NILAN-MOORE DECISION? … plus … GUEST COLUMN TAKES ON HEALTH CARE
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
If you didn’t read the comments left on THE PLANET by Peter Moore‘s mother and his cousin, Heather, over the weekend, we present them here. They are instructive and add a human dimension to the support that this website is pouring out for Peter Moore. This is from SUSAN MOORE:
This is from Peter Moore’s cousin, HEATHER:
THE PLANET thanks Susan Moore and Heather, Peter Moore’s cousin, for their contributions.
PETER MOORE’S FATHER, CAPT. TOM MOORE: AN EXPERIENCED TRAFFIC INVESTIGATOR FOR THE HARTFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT
We think it’s highly instructive and relevant that Peter Moore’s father is an experienced traffic investigator. He retired from the Hartford Police Department after a generation of service as Capt. Tom Moore, head of the traffic investigation department. Capt. Moore is an expert in accident reconstruction, another of the grand ironies in the Nilan-Moore case.
Capt. Moore conducted an investigation at the scene, interviewed neighbors, made other inquiries, and on that basis, concludes that justice was not done.
Folks, and especially defenders of the Nilans, you can cry as much as you want about “witch hunts” and the like, but there’s no escaping the ONLY reasonable conclusion an objective party can reach when assessing all of the evidence in the case: It appears a near-certainty that Meredith Nilan crossed lanes, struck Peter Moore, knew she had hit a human being (not a “dog or a deer”), panicked, left Moore to die, called daddy, and rested in daddy’s ability to use his influence in the courts from that point to make it all go away.
Even the possibility that this has happened cannot be left alone, for upon it rests the the integrity of community life itself in the city of Pittsfield and — given that Pittsfield is the county seat — all of Berkshire County. We must not rest until officials step in and go to bat not just for the Moores but for all the good, decent, hardworking, law abiding citizens of Berkshire County.
‘Facts’ Must Always be in Service to Truth’
The Nilan apologists will say that none of this is certain or factual. We respond by saying, again, that a neutral third party, when digesting all of the information of this case, would have to conclude that the overwhelming likelihood is what we have just described.
No one can ever know EXACTLY what happened that night, except perhaps the driver. She would be a biased source, wouldn’t you say? That is why we have the courts, which presumably operate impartially so that we may, as best as humanly possible, arrive at the true understanding (if not the literal understanding) of what happens in the course of legally disputed human events, such as the Nilan-Moore case.
If a society cannot count on the courts be totally on the up and up, our democratic republic is a sham. We will have what President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address: Two sets of laws, one for the Haves and the Powerful and the other for the have nots and the powerless. Is this what we have in Berkshire County? Is this the cesspool nature of the Pittsfield court house? THE PLANET cannot believe it.
Upon What Basis Can We Have Confidence in a Secret Hearing, Closed to the Victim, His Attorney, the Press, and the Public?
When this case went to a hearing after the Pittsfield Police Department filed charges, it was not heard by the clerk magistrate in whose jurisdiction this case falls. A first assistant clerk magistrate from Westfield was brought in — by whom we don’t know. That’s one matter we would like cleared up. Who decided on Nathan Byrnes and why? If there is a good reason, an innocent reason, then tell us.
Why Nathan Byrnes was selected, of all the other options, we don’t know. Byrnes closed the hearing to the press and public. He also barred Peter Moore and his attorney. The date of the hearing was not made public, so smart-aleck reporters and scribes such as THE PLANET couldn’t stake out the courthouse.
Despite the overwhelming evidence in the case, Byrnes decided there was not enough to send it to trial. No transcripts of the hearing have been released.
And yet …
And yet we as a society (and the Moores as a family, who are dealing with a personal hurt we cannot imagine) are expected to shut up and feel comfortable that justice was served.
We won’t do that. There’s too much reasonable doubt to give the Nathan Byrnes hearing credibility.
What is the Status of the Pittsfield Police Department Appeal?
Another Great Secret, apparently, is the status of the PPD appeal. The filed an appeal of Byrnes’ decision, and we don’t know where it stands? Has the appeal been heard? Has a decision been rendered by a judge? If so, what was that verdict.
Why the secrecy? Why wouldn’t the Pittsfield courts issues a simple press statement updating the public on this question?
As we stated, no one can ever literally reconstruct what happened on the night of Dec. 8 involving Meredith Nilan, driver, and Peter Moore, pedestrian. Our best shot at learning the truth is for the case to appear in open court, attended by the press and public. Our best shot at determining whether everything that went on procedurally prior to a court trial will be for Attorney General Martha Coakley to investigate.
We would make our appeal to the AG on the very survival of our democratic free institutions. If we cannot rely on the Courts as bedrock, we can kiss the quality of communal life goodbye.
Central Berkshire District Court, Pittsfield, Mass., New England, United States of America, the earth, the universe, is not the Star Chamber under Charles I of England. It’s not the show trials under Josef Stalin of the Soviet Union. It’s not the political kangaroo courts of North Korea.
We don’t hold hearings on secret dates.
We don’t keep out press and public.
We don’t keep out the victim and his attorney.
We don’t hide transcripts of the proceedings.
We just don’t do that.
And yet that’s what was done.
We cannot allow this to rest in peace. Even if — for the sake of argument — Byrnes conducted a great hearing that arrived at justice … even granting that possibility, which we do … how can anyone in Berkshire County believe that as things stand right now? Remember, no one wants to feel this way about their institutions, and no one does, without due cause. There have been cases, some recent, of abuse and corruption in the local courts, and people rightly ask — considering who is involved — why not here? Why not now?
A fair shake? Is that too much for We The People to ask?
ONE AMERICA, TWO SETS OF LAWS?
“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.” — President Barack Obama, State of the Union address.
An America where “everyone plays by the same rules.”
What is your opinion: Do you think that is true in Pittsfield? Do you think that is true in the Nilan-Moore case?
HEALTH CARE: WE THE PEOPLE VICTIMIZED AGAIN
Yeah, right. An American where “everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
Do you think that is happening with health care? Read this guest post”