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Vote July 15, put a criminal in jail
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Savannah Metro Police have apprehended one suspect in the double shooting of Jason Statts and Dave Williams on June 28 in Ardsley Park, with a second suspect having turned himself into custody as we go to press.

With the usual disclaimer that the alleged perpetrators are innocent until proven guilty, it’s important not to let the impressive speed of the police work on this case upstage the barbarity of the crime.

The single bullet, aimed point-blank at the base of Statts’s neck, also went on to badly damage Williams’s throat. Statts has almost no mobility beneath the waist and has been moved to a rehab facility in Atlanta. Williams is recovering slowly and painfully at Memorial Health.

You’ll notice I’ve not referred to this as an attempted robbery or “aggravated assault.” This was an attempted execution with no goal other than death. It was quite simply an act of pure evil.

The shooter did not do it because he is underprivileged. He did not do it because of prejudice, past or present.

He did not do it because he had bad parents, or poor parents, or no parents.

There are no excuses and no rationale for this kind of violence. Sometimes and for some things, evil really is the only explanation.

Mostly because of President Bush’s childish elocutions on the subject, it’s become trendy to laugh at anyone who mentions the existence of evil. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. If you don’t think real evil exists in this world, you haven’t been paying attention.

It’s also become trendy to say that voting doesn’t matter, because “they’re all the same.” But the election this Tuesday, July 15, gives the lie to that canard, and it has everything to do with the heinous crime at 48th and Paulsen.

After nearly 30 years in office, a District Attorney not widely regarded as being particularly effective — a good bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is devoted to Spencer Lawton’s shortcomings as a prosecutor — is retiring from office. You now have a golden chance to help pick our next DA.

In terms of immediate impact on your life and your community, the DA is the single most important position we have, bar none.

A police chief can only catch criminals — not try them and put them behind bars.

Our mayor’s power is limited to one vote out of nine on city council.

A congressperson has little real power until they’ve gained 20 or 30 years of seniority.

And unless you’re in the armed forces, a president’s decisions usually affect you and your family only tangentially.

Because the DA is such a key official, this week we take the unusual step of interviewing all four Democratic candidates for DA. (Republican David Lock is unopposed in his primary, and we’ll interview him when the November election gets closer.)

Also this week we cover the two other most interesting stories of this primary season, Regina Thomas's challenge of incumbent Savannah Congressman John Barrow, and an interview with the openly gay Kevin Clark, who’s waging an insurgent campaign to claim the State Senate seat Thomas is leaving behind.

As for Statts and Williams, a fund has been started to help pay for their medical expenses. Find it at