EDITORIAL: No death, no justice for Trimble

Obviously life in prison with a chance of parole after 25 to 30 years isn’t an option for James Trimble. Oh, it may be a legal option that the jury must soon consider, but for anyone who was affected by this case, for anyone who has followed this case, shoot, for anyone who has merely heard of this case, the chance that Trimble might one day walk about the streets of Portage County – or anywhere else for that matter – seems audacious and insensitive.

Trimble, who was found guilty on every charge before him, including three aggravated murder charges, has left the jury to decide whether to imprison him for life without the chance for parole or recommend him for the death penalty. It is this editorial board’s sincere desire to see James Trimble receive a sentence to die by the hands of the state.

The acts were gruesome enough that had this case not been in the backyard of Kent State University, but in Spokane, WA or some other far off place, most of the editorial board probably would have recommended death. But the case happened so close to home and affected one of our own that it has left a bitterness in the mouths of each board member even the most compassionate sort of reasoning cannot salve.

For Trimble to come after our very own, to make us challenge our notions of mortality, to cut down youth, vigor and vivacity when he is none of that is a crime more senseless than anything you’ll see on the television tonight.

Consider the story.

Sarah Positano was sitting at home by herself when a very high, Rambo-esque James Trimble broke into her house and held her captive. (The official charge was kidnapping, for which he was also found guilty.) He held a gun to her head, made her call the police, promised to release her and then shot her. Depending on whose side you believe, the shooting was intentional and ruthless, a reasonable claim given that it would have been Trimble’s third such shooting for the evening, including a seven-year-old boy. Or, the shooting was a freak accident involving a loaded and cocked weapon falling to the ground and discharging at such a precise angle as to kill a young, beautiful, intelligent and active young woman, all while Trimble tried to shoot an officer of the law who was trying to protect Positano (side note: This is not a noble defense by any stretch of the imagination).

Not convinced of the latter? Neither were twelve obviously thoughtful and brave jury members who saw through such contrived and offensive reasoning. Now these same twelve jury members must stay the course and see to the end what they so bravely began, bringing Trimble to justice for the three unnecessary murders – and justice will only come at the cost of Trimble’s life.

All decisions of life and death should be tempered with reason and compassion; it is the only way to preserve justice. However, James Trimble tempered nothing on the night he took three lives into his own hands. He thought neither with reason nor compassion. He had disregard for justice. For all these crimes and for the three lives wasted, he must perish at the hands of the state.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.