Letters for the week of May 11-17, 2005 

Treating dogs with respect. Treating butt rock with no respect. Respecting immigrant victims of violence. Disrespecting West Berkeley residents.

Page 3 of 3

Several of our readers notified us that they were offended by our May 4 cover illustration, in which a bearded Hasidic man was used to illustrate a story about allegations that Jewish jurors were systematically kept off death-penalty juries in Alameda County. Some readers said they were offended by the character's big red nose and exaggerated features; we must point out that illustrator Justin Page draws almost everyone with big red noses and exaggerated features. Some said it was stereotypical; that, we must confess, was our intention in a story about stereotypical attitudes toward jurors of one ethnicity. Others reasonably complained that culturally conservative Hasidic Jews are in no way representative of the primarily liberal jurors discussed in the story. In the end, the bottom line for most of these readers was that it was offensive. That was certainly not our intention, and we apologize to those we may have offended.

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