On October 26, yet another conference took place between Judge Berry, the Orange County ADA and the lawyers representing Keum and Chong Lee. And once again, the case has been continued--to November 23.
But folks, this is not bad news at all. There is every indication that the DA is continuing to stand strong, and has no intention of negotiating on the felony charges that have been brought against this husband and wife duo--leaving us to speculate the negotiating points, at this juncture, are focused on compelling the Lees to plead Guilty, rather than Not Guilty, in exchange for a lesser punishment--but not lesser charges. If they refuse to change their individual pleas, of course, the case will be resolved in the courts.
And there is even more heartening news, as we've learned that two Orange Country legislators, recently made aware of the horrific specifics of this case, have personally contacted the DA on behalf of Suzi and Whisk. Their message: please do not reduce the charges brought against people who have allegedly acted in such a cruel and unconscionable manner. Such abuse cannot, and will not, be tolerated in Orange County.
I'm hoping to report more fully on this aspect of the case in the next day or two.
Again, a few short months ago, Keum Lee was the only person charged for the documentably agonized suffering imposed upon these two innocent creatures--and the charge was a single misdemeanor. I continue to believe your input has made all the difference: each call, each letter, each fax. Without so many individuals standing up and expressing their outrage, Suzi and Whisk might very well, at this moment, be back in the hands of their alleged abusers. And I personally can hardly imagine a worse fate, or a more egregious miscarriage of the concept of: justice. A more twisted version of the ideal of: compassion. A decision more lacking in empathy for those creatures with who we share a planet that belongs every bit as much to them, as to us.
Thank you so very much, for caring. Your caring has, for these two horses, brought them a life tended by loving hands and hearts and minds. Because of such a resounding public outcry, I cannot imagine them ever being returned to that place from which they were taken. And just as important, the prosecution of this case at the felony level might yet make a difference for so many others who, even as this is written, suffer rather than live, each day of their wretched lives. Prisoners all, in conditions of legal torture we can, truly, hardly imagine. There is no substitute for strong animal abuse legislation and precedents established in regard to existing law. Unless enforced, any law is useless.
Questions about parrots? Diet, behavior, disease--you name it, go to the New York Birds website: NewYorkBirds.net.