Council JusticeWhere has justice gone? Whoever said there...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 03, 1994

Council Justice

Where has justice gone? Whoever said there is no honor among thieves never saw the Baltimore City Council in action. Their idea of justice is to intervene in a criminal case and influence the judge to go easy on a fellow thief.

Now they have the idea that the thief should be allowed to retire while justice is delayed.

F: May the honest voters in Baltimore have a long memory.

Robert H. Goebel Sr.

Aberdeen

Confederate Flag

As a black American with a keen interest in the American Civil War, I respectfully take vigorous opposition to some of the statements by Dennis G. Saunders (letter, June 15) concerning the Confederate flag.

Mr. Saunders stated that Carl Rowan championed black leadership who manifested utter contempt for the Confederate flag. In this regard, I am in total agreement with him.

On the other hand, I know very few black leaders who feel that Southerners were ignoble people. Quite the contrary, most Southerners who fought in the war did not own slaves, were generally uneducated and were family members. Indeed, many were merely poor share-croppers.

The overwhelming cause of the Civil War was slavery. It manifested itself in other factors and events, such as the Fugitive Slave Law, the Dred Scott decision, nullification, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Wilmot proviso, the election of Abraham Lincoln, John Brown's raid, the Missouri Compromise, etc.

In this regard, and with these overwhelming events, it seems that the tariff issue becomes a minor contributor.

To top it off, the Confederate flag does not seem to be an issue in the cause of the war. It is a symbol of the Confederacy. All of the above stated causes grew out of the brutal horrors of slavery.

I, too, understand why blacks refuse to see the need for respect for this flag.

Frederick A. Johnson

Randallstown

No Hero

Hurrah for Roger Simon on his June 24 column saying O.J. Simpson lost his hero status when he beat up his wife so badly she had to call the police. It was so refreshing to read an article not sympathizing with a person accused or convicted of a violent crime. Only in America can a person convicted or accused of crime commercialize on that fact and make big money and recognition doing so. For example: G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, Tonya Harding and even John Wayne Bobbitt.

These are just a few examples of people making big money and it doesn't even take into account the thousands now in and out of prison jumping on the bandwagon to go on television, make movies and book deals.

What is wrong with this picture? Unfortunately, it is more lucrative to be the accused than the victim for this dirty-laundry-starved American public. If only all the money made from these criminals went to the victims and their families or the state to cover their costs in prison that we the taxpayers eventually soak up. I think the motivation to commercialize on their heinous crimes would at least be lessened.

Anne M. Wheeden

Randallstown

Peacemaker

As practicing attorneys with considerable knowledge of the judicial performance of Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan, administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, we wish to state our strong support for Judge Kaplan and to note our exception to the editorial captioned ''Judging the McLean Case'' (June 15).

In so doing, we feel that Judge Kaplan has been done a singular disservice in that the criticism which is expressed in that editorial, and which has otherwise been voiced, is most unfair when the circumstances giving rise to Judge Kaplan's role in the McLean case are properly assessed.

What Judge Kaplan was obviously attempting to do as administrative judge, in the setting reported, was ''calm the waters'' and act as a judicial peacemaker, a role for which he is commendably suited. We feel in so doing he showed character and courage in running the risk of incurring the criticism which has now come to pass and undertook to bring a sensible and reasoned resolution to a situation which was fraught with tension and high public visibility. A lesser person would have shrunk from such involvement.

It is no exaggeration to say that Judge Kaplan has had a truly distinguished career as a jurist, marked by dealing with difficult assignments, scrupulously handled in a highly professional manner. He is not only a man of keen intellect and rare insight but a person of great decency. He is undoubtedly one of the most respected judges in Maryland and has justly earned a reputation for unquestionable integrity.

We sincerely hope these observations, deeply felt, will help place Judge Kaplan in better and sharper focus in the public eye. Our comments are the product of observing Judge Kaplan's judicial performance in a host of demanding situations over his entire career on the bench.

H. Russell Smouse

Baltimore

This letter was also signed by George L. Russell Jr., William W. Cahill Jr., Paul A Dorf, Peter D. Ward, Theodore Cornblatt and Theodore S. Miller.

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