Colorado Gov. Bill Owens must decide whether to extradite Senior Airman Troy Graves, the suspect in a series of sexual assaults, to Philadelphia.
Traditionally, cases are tried in the community in which the crimes were most recently commited, but we believe an exception should be made.
The assaults are fresh in the minds of members of the Fort Collins community. Justice will definately be served eventually, but the crimes Graves allegedly commited in Philadelphia are far more serious. If convicted in Colorado, the highest possible punishment is a life sentence, whereas Graves could face the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
The parents of Shannon Schieber, the Philadelphia graduate student who was killed in her apartment in 1998, want justice. They are suing the city and the police officers who decided not to enter her apartment after a 911 call by neighbors. Her parents say she was being strangled while they were knocking at her door, and her death could have been prevented if they would have entered. Regardless of whether Graves is extradited, the Schiebers will continue the lawsuit, but having their daughter’s supposed killer behind bars would give them a piece of mind.
In either case, the trial will likely move location. Both the Fort Collins and Philadelphia communities know details about the cases, and in order to give Graves a fair trial, the location will probably be moved to cities elsewhere in Colorado and Pennsylvania.
Graves will be eventually extradited in any case, so it is only a matter of where he is first tried. The Fort Collins community could use some time to heal before assault survivors go through the emotional trauma that may be associated with a trial. Justice will be served, but Philadelphia has been waiting a long time to see the killer behind bars.
It’s up to you, Owens, to send Graves to Philadelphia.