Eric Tirado deserved the death penaltyFirst, I would like...

the Forum

August 05, 1991

Eric Tirado deserved the death penalty

First, I would like to reassure the people of this state that I still have three sons, and not one, as stated in two recent editorials in The Evening Sun.

Second, I was appalled by the July 29 editorial entitled "Double-standard justice," concerning the "propriety" of placing victim impact statements before the jury in a murder trial. The recent Supreme Court decision on the admissibility of such statements is an attempt to correct the existing "double-standard," which has always allowed a convicted murderer's family to convey to the court the impact any sentence might have on them. What kind of justice is it that JTC permits a live parade before the jury of weeping relatives begging for mercy for a cold-blooded killer, and views a written statement by the victim's family as possible grounds for appeal? I agree that punishment should depend on the crime committed and not on the status of the victim; however, I strongly feel that if, as a community, we continue to tolerate the total disregard for the lives of our law enforcement officers by the criminal element, we will soon find that they are no longer willing to put their lives on the line to protect us.

Third, the writer of the July 31 editorial "On the death penalty" drew conclusions from my reactions to the sentencing which I feel need clarification. Yes, I believe Eric Tirado's actions merited the maximum sentence; and I definitely understand the plight of the jury in this case. But I am far from satisfied that "as much justice was rendered as is possible." There were too many facts not allowed to be presented to the jury, for fear of infringing on Eric Tirado's rights. It appears that only criminals in this state have full exercise of the rights we presume that we all possess.

Further, the sentence of life without parole does not, in fact, end the ordeal. Although the appeals are somewhat more limited, they still exist; and the threat of the death penalty over Eric Tirado's head, however unlikely his execution might be, is, in effect, a sentence in itself, and a sentence well-deserved.

Ginni Wolf

Glen Burnie

Artscape's success

Artscape '91 was dynamic proof of the vitality of the city of Baltimore. Enthusiastic crowds came to the festival to enjoy the exhibitions and performances in spite of the over 100-degree temperatures. Artscape '91 was a stunning tribute to the spirit of the people of Baltimore.


Claire Zamoiski List

The writer is president of Baltimore's Festival of the Arts, Inc.

Junk the jargon

Captive Nations Week 1991, the third week in July, has come and gone with no mention in any of The Baltimore Sun newspapers. The annual observance is called for in a law which Congress passed in July 1959, and President Eisenhower signed into law. Its purpose is to promote quests for freedom by people under communist domination.

V In lieu of commemorating Captive Nations Week, I propose The Evening Sun establish a "Junk the Jargon" week. During this week none of your writers would be permitted to warn of "rampant nationalism" or use the expressions "powder keg," "tinder box" or "Balkanization" when referring to areas populated by Slavic peoples.

V Should a penchant to use such terms recur, I suggest Evening Sun staffers attempt to coin some new jargon to spread the triteness. What about "combustion chamber," "fracture factory" or "dynamite zone" for the Middle East? And for Northern Ireland, why not "explosion pit" or "land of bellicosity?" Not that these areas need to be labelled, but something should be done to jar lethargic writers from their slumber.

Paul Fenchak

The writer is president of the Ukrainian Education Association of Maryland.

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