The sign on the judge’s desk at the front of the Stettler Court House read “Publication Ban is in Effect”. Whether or not the sign was meant to be there is not the fault of the victim and therefore that story should not have been printed in your paper. The decision to print a story is at your discretion and judgement. Living in a small community such as Stettler has its advantages but not in this case. There are two sides to every story and in this particular incident, criminals took advantage of a vulnerable situation and individual. Dealing with emotions such as stress, anxiety, depression and guilt on a daily basis makes life difficult to cope with for many people. Adding insult to injury with this report only contributes to a lifetime of emotional scars. Papers such as Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald and the Red Deer Advocate do not publish regular court reports on the travails of everyday people. The Stettler Independent in the past, under the watchful eye of the “old editor” would never allow this to happen. There is truth to the old adage “the pen is mightier than the sword”.
Editor’s Note: There was no publication ban on the mentioned case whereby a middle aged adult pleaded guilty to a charge in connection with a drug-related offense, which we take seriously as a threat to the community. We believe there is a strong justification in letting the public know of cases involving drug abuse in the community. As for how other papers treat court proceedings, we are only responsible for our publication.