Who Will Judge The Judges?One has to question the equality...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 12, 1993

Who Will Judge The Judges?

One has to question the equality of Maryland's judicial system when high-paid lobbyist Ira C. Cooke is virtually excused with a tap on the wrists while a similar offense by Pamela Snowhite Davis in Westminster brought her two years in prison with three more suspended.

Mr. Cooke, who is the second-highest paid lobbyist in Annapolis and serves 27 prestigious clients, was fined $350. Ms. Davis, who owned a counter-culture shop in Westminster, was fined $2,500.

I happen to believe that Judge Joseph Manck who sentenced Cooke was correct and Judge Raymond Beck who sentenced Davis was not only wrong but unnecessarily vengeful. The difference in these two cases is about more than prestige and money, however -- it's about penance and free speech.

While Mr. Cooke said he regretted what had happened and was embarrassed, Ms. Davis is an outspoken advocate for legalizing marijuana. So Judge Manck pronounced probation before judgment, erasing the conviction from Cooke's record after his 12 months probation, while Judge Beck penalized Ms. Davis, saying, "You fight for your causes, but your march here is under false colors." (The Sun, April 29, 1993)

So while Ira Cooke, penitent sinner and respectable citizen, is judged only for the crime for which he is being accused, Pamela Snowhite Davis is being judged twice -- once for the crime and even more for her use of her First Amendment right of free speech.

.` Now who will judge the judges?

Alice G. Chambers

Annapolis

Support for Arc

The Arc of Carroll County Inc. would like to thank the community for support and participation in its recent fund raiser, a charity golf tournament. With so many organized events such as this taking place in the community, we are proud to count among our friends the many people who help to arrange, promote and participate in this activity.

The Arc of Carroll County held its fourth annual ARC-Piney Branch Charity Golf Tournament on Aug. 19. The 9 a.m. shotgun start found 148 golfers ready for what proved to be a very exciting day.

Most golfers dream of getting a hole-in-one, especially if a car can be won for achieving this feat. Norman Hare of Reisterstown had that dream come true. The grand prize for the hole-in-one on Hole 9 was a Honda Civic, courtesy of Griffith Auto Park of Westminster. Hare is the proud winner of that car. Bud Gerbrick got a hole-in-one on 13 and won a gift certificate from the Pro Shop.

Thanks to the support of the community, its generosity and cooperation, the tournament will realize a profit of more than $7,700. All proceeds stay in Carroll County to help with the continuation of programs sponsored by The Arc for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The 1994 ARC-Piney Branch Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Thursday, Aug. 18. Anyone interested in more information can contact The Arc, 180 Krides Church Road, Westminster, MD, 21158 or call 848-4124 or 876-2422. Again, thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the tournament.

Timothy J. Atkinson

Lorraine A. McLeod

Westminster

The writers are, respectively, executive director and president of the Carroll County Association for Retarded Citizens Inc.

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