Kids' RightsMichael Olesker, in ''Sounds of '92: breaking...


March 15, 1992

Kids' Rights

Michael Olesker, in ''Sounds of '92: breaking glass on Paca Street,'' quotes ex-Mayor Du Burns who with others watched two teen-agers fling empty bottles around parked cars, saying, ''When I was a kid, some adult would have jerked me up in a minute . . . .''

Under today's Maryland Juvenile Code, such ''jerking'' or ''grabbing'' constitutes an assault, a serious crime that can get the participating adult in lots of trouble.

The police arriving on the scene can charge the adult assaulting the child. The parents of the aggrieved kids can swear out a warrant of arrest against anyone ''assaulting'' their precious children.

''In America,'' said the judge who found me guilty of just such ''grabbing'' of a 10-year old hoodlum, ''no one is allowed to touch our kids. Not even say mean and nasty things to them.''

I paid my fine and was instructed to call the police the next time. If they do not come, hope and pray it is not your property being damaged.

In America, kids have certain constitutional rights not granted adults. Not to be touched or hollered at, and maintenance of confidentiality, are just two.

These rights cannot be taken away or violated until they reach adulthood, age 16 or 18, depending on the judge. At that time,

any previous bad record is permanently erased.

Frank Novak


Equal Time

There are many interpretations one could render for the most voluminous story I have ever seen about a murder suspect. I refer to the article ''A deliberate descent'' on March 1.

No doubt the staff writers sought and received permission for such an enormous undertaking from a very major source in The Sun hierarchy.

In the interest of balanced reporting, I ask for another article of equal length reflecting on the the background of the victims and the grief and deprivation of the spouse and children.

It would be well to cover also the inadequacies and loopholes in the law. Pointing out the incompetence of those who enact them. Flaws in the penal system which allow first offenders to be mingled with the hard-time, many-time losers who only serve as their teachers when they are released back onto our streets.

Surely this side of the equation deserves, nay demands, equal effort, equal time and expense, equal compassion.

James T. Cavey


Clients' Fund

The Feb. 23 Sunday Sun article about Fred Kolodner referred to the Clients' Security Trust Fund as ''a Maryland agency formed to reimburse the victims of legal malpractice.'' This implies that we are a state agency using public tax monies, which is not correct.

We were formed in 1965 by the voluntary action of Maryland lawyers, and are supported entirely by an annual assessment of $20 paid by each Maryland lawyer. No public funds and no tax monies are involved.

Second, your article was wrong in stating that we pay legal malpractice claims. We do not. We pay only theft claims, where it is proved that a Maryland lawyer has stolen money or property from his client and the client is unable to recover his loss from any other source.

The fund has been in operation 25 full years as of June 30, 1991, plus the current fiscal year which began last July 1. In that period, we have paid 335 claims totaling approximately $2,213,500. These numbers include the Kolodner claims.

Victor H. Laws


The writer is chairman of the trustees of the Clients' Security Trust Fund of the Bar of Maryland.

Code to Live

Richard Rodriguez writing from Los Angeles (Perspective, Feb. 23), tells us Cardinal Roger Mahony proposes a new code for movies and television, the influences of which he deplores.

What we need is to return to a code for our lives. The Ten Commandments and, more simply, the Golden Rule come to mind.

Beatrice Badders


Yes, It Is

''Is This Any Way to Pick Presidential Candidates?'' questioned Theo Lippman Jr. (Perspective, March 8), as he attempted to demonstrate that our presidential primary system is too great an ordeal for the candidates.

Yes, Mr. Lippman, we want primaries rather than back-room decisions. Democracy is not a spectator sport. We want to be directly involved in electing our president. We want to see the candidates present their positions on key issues that will affect our future such as health care reform, tax policy and civil rights. We want to watch how they defend those positions when they are challenged.

And, yes, we need to know how the candidates will respond when they feel exhausted, when they've just flown across the country at the end of a busy day. A candidate who runs an open, straightforward, issue-oriented campaign can be expected to become an accessible, forthright and thoughtful president.

Patty Pollard


The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Maryland.

Federal Triangle Balanced

A few facts would give your readers a more balanced view of the Federal Triangle Project than was provided in the Feb. 13 article, ''Federal 'white elephant' goes up.''

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