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Please leave this deceased Wyoming boy our of your ramblings

To The Daily Sun,

This was just pointed out to me and I was blown away by this shocking revelation by Hillarie Goldstein of Franklin in regards to a young man (Matthew Wayne Sheppard) brutally murdered (homicide) in 1998.

When will the lies end for your candidate Trump stop? That you have the nerve to drag this young man's name, death, and memory through the trash to make yet another attempt to build him (Trump) up to gospel level. How dare you.

Where did you get this information? Jimenez the author of "Hidden Truths," an ally to the right-wing Christian fundamentalists and who is gay himself? This young man at the age was 21 was brutally pistol whipped, tortured (set on fire), tied to a fence in the freezing cold and left to die alone. The lovely young boys, McKinney (Matt's supposed sex partner) and Henderson, who did this heinous act, stated they gained his trust to "just" rob him that night. They killed him because he was an easy mark. They knew him, and they wanted his money, Hillarie. He was not out to make a drug deal that night. They were.

He was left on a fence for 18 hours suffering. He was found by a cyclist who thought it was a scarecrow. He was so brutally beaten and his face completely covered in blood, except where it was cleaned by his tears. He suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He never regained consciousness and he died six days later.

He was student, a friend, a son, a brother and he was loved and he is missed every day by his family and friends. He also had AIDS. Will that help you more to slander his name? Did you also know that during a high school trip to Morocco he was beaten and raped? He suffered from depression, panic attacks, and became withdrawn. He also had issues with drugs from all the trauma he suffered,past and present.

In 2009 Congress passed the Shepard/Boyd Act. It is for hate crimes, not a drug deal gone wrong. He had $30 on him — such a small amount of money — and even when he handed it over to McKinney he continued to beat him. This was premeditated murder and both those charmers are now serving two consecutive life sentences. For the record, neither one of those two were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. And their two girlfriends were present for this act and did nothing to help stop it and were both charged with first-degree murder.

You should stick with writing your letters in protest against the Tilton store and their "abused" snapping turtle. Leave this deceased boy out of your ramblings, please. And who the hell cares if he was involved in drugs or not. He was viciously murdered, period. That is the point and nothing else should matter.

Denise C. Burke
Gilford

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Don't be swayed from your core values by the political noise

To The Daily Sun,

Like many Americans, I am very disappointed in this year's presidential election choices. For many of us we do not particularly find either candidate very likeable or with much credibility. More so, I am sure that many will say that this is probably not so different to some past presidential elections.

However, this isn't what I find most disappointing. What disturbs me most is the level of hate and evil that has been expressed from all sides. Some U.S. schools are moving the polling location or canceling classes on Election Day due to fear of violence. I have never experienced this in all my years of voting. Have we in America dropped to a new low?

It appears that many of us have forgotten that we are Americans and that we still live in a country in which we as voters all have the right and privilege to vote for those that we feel will best act as our representative. I am bothered at the amount of "noise" that is being generated, almost appearing to attack this right and privilege with strong hate and vengeance. It will be very unfortunate for this country if this is the new means for trying to sway voters; the use of hate combined with the endless search to find that magic word or phrase or video clip in an effort to turn the course of an election.

So to those of you that plan to leave the country based on who is elected, I truly wish you well. Know that many before you have also left their motherland for their principles and beliefs. For those of you that feel hate and anger because I (and many others like me) may have a different view, I accept that. I am willing to allow you to feel as you may, realizing that I have no control over your feelings whatever you choose them to be. I will choose instead to be responsible for my feelings.

For those of you that may feel intimidated by these types of individuals or tactics, I ask you to ignore them and know that you have your right to vote as you please. I appeal to all of you, decided or undecided voters, to look past this 'noise' and to vote in accordance to your values and principles. To vote proudly as it is our right as Americans.

For all elections — either local or national — I do everything I can to look beyond the noise (which can be very hard to do). I first look at myself, at who I am and what I believe. I ensure that I fully understand my values and what they mean to me. I evaluate how my values relate to the many issues we face in today's world such as, and not limited to; human dignity, religious liberty, immigration, national security, social security, climate change and constitutional integrity to name a few.

I furthermore accept two realities: that there will never be a perfect candidate and that all of my values are not equally weighted. I realize that voting is important if I want my voice heard, if I want to make a difference. I look at each candidate in regards to the policies they have supported in the past and what policies they are proposing and/or will support once elected. I then choose the candidate that I feel will best represent my strongest values; realizing that I will most likely always be compromising on some of my other values. Once I do this, I usually find that the selection is fairly straight forward. This is not new or earth shattering to many of you; just something we can too easily forget as we are bombarded by all of the 'noise' on a continual basis from all the different sources in our environment.

I hope that you will be able to ignore and not be swayed from your core values by the noise that will continue to spew until the day of the elections, and in the end will not change the core position of any of the candidates or issues.

And lastly know that I, as an American, support and accept your decision for whomever or whatever issue you choose. Please vote and may God bless this election and may God bless America.

Kelly Marchek
Meredith

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