To the Editor: Unjust system 

To the Editor: 

A story that recently surfaced about two women who were brutally slain in 1996 while camping in Shenandoah National Park portrays a chilling aspect of the so-called “justice” system in our country.  

Darrel Rice was finally indicted and charged with four counts of capital murder in 2002, two because of his publicly expressed hatred of women and two because of his hatred of gay people. In 1997, one year after the slayings, he was convicted of attempted abduction of a women bicyclist in the park. What else should a prosecutor need to establish that Rice was guilty of those horrendous murders? But prosecutors dropped their case against Rice in 2004 because a single hair was found at the crime scene that could not be traced to him or the women.  

This is just another shining example of a proven criminal going free while his victims and families are burdened with injustice and zero closure. Additionally, emphasis is on the potential rehabilitation of criminals that has little success in preventing repetitive crimes. Our “justice” system is broken and must be fixed with one that fits punishment to the crime. 


Joe Bertolaccini 


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