Let justice, not hype, takes its proper course | Editorial

Colton Harris-Moore is not a folk hero. He’s not a modern-day Jesse James. He’s not, as one Facebooker wrote, a “dude (who) went out with some style.”

Harris-Moore is simply this: A suspect, accused of crimes in several states, British Columbia and the Bahamas. And now he’s entitled to a fair trial by an impartial jury.

Let justice take its course.

We’re as disturbed by the national celebrity that has developed around Harris-Moore’s alleged exploits as we are the heightened passions of those who have wanted him brought to justice — a Wild West kind of justice. Surely, the celebrity on one side and the strong views on the other have fueled each other. While they are probably inevitable, both skew reality.

Here’s the reality: Harris-Moore has arraignments and trials in his future. It’s likely going to be a long series: He’s suspected of committing burglaries and thefts in Washington, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana and the Bahamas.

It will not be a folk hero or a Facebook hero or a young man with a popular nickname facing a jury of his peers. It will be Colton Harris-Moore, 19, of Camano Island.

Let’s let go of the celebrity and the strong views. Let’s let justice — fair justice — take its course.

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