Should Gov. Schaefer's Have Commuted The Sentences Of Eight Womenjailed For

COUNTY COMMENTS

Killing Or Assaulting Their Abusive Mates?

February 27, 1991

* Ed Yee, 33, of Ellicott City, analyst for the Defense Department at Fort Meade:

Yes. I think it was a good decision. This was not murder. I don't see it as an improper act on their part. They were doing something to survive. There's always the risk people will interpretit as a license for revenge and pre-emptive acts. As far as these cases though, I don't see a problem with Schaefer's decision. I think he did the right thing.

* Richard Wilson Jr., 70, of Elkridge, retired federal security officer for the Department of Agriculture:

Yeah, if they were abused. I've been in law enforcement for 21 years. I wouldn't say it's encouraging anyone to take the law into their own hands. If a person is abused, the law should take it into consideration and be as lenient asthey could with the sentencing. No one is going to stand abuse. The governor has the authority to commute sentences if it was justified and I think the governor was well within his rights.

* Delvin Litman, 47, of Ellicott City, salesman in Ellicott City:

I probably agreeif they had a reason for doing it. If they had been abused, they hadbeen aggravated. Enough is enough.

* Suzie Tornatore, 49, of Ellicott City, swimming and exercise instructor at Howard Community College:

If they were in fact consistently abused and are going to be paroled, I think Schaefer did the right thing -- if he reviewed the cases very carefully and saw a consistency of long-term abuse. An established pattern of long-term spousal abuse merited the commutation. I don't think it's a license for women to just pull guns.

* Nancy Shea, 36, of Ellicott City, housewife, part-time physical therapist aide,part-time Oakland Mills high school soccer coach:

I agree with it. I'm sure Schaefer put a lot of thought in it and they are justifiedin being released. If they hadn't killed them, they would've ended up on the other side themselves. I think sometimes you have to take the law into your own hands. Those women were probably forced to do what they had to do to save themselves.

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