Bloodsworth deserves full compensationI am bitterly...

the Forum

July 06, 1994

Bloodsworth deserves full compensation

I am bitterly disappointed with the Baltimore County government's decision not to contribute any money to the settlement with Kirk N. Bloodsworth.

Mr. Bloodsworth was wrongly arrested, convicted and sentenced to die in 1984. He spent nine years of his life in prison. Years of not looking forward to release but to death by electrocution. Years of living in fear of other prisoners, who show no mercy to child molesters.

I can't even fathom the depths of despair a man would experience living the constant shadow of death. Trying daily to protect yourself from the inmates you are forced to live with.

If there is a hell on earth, Mr. Bloodsworth has been there. We put him there, we were wrong, we should compensate him.

The state has owned up to its error. It is attempting to help Mr. Bloodsworth with a $300,000 settlement. This figure may seem like a lot, but it works out to $3.79 an hour for every hour he was kept in hell.

Stanley J. Shapiro, the Baltimore County attorney, reiterated the court's position that the county did nothing wrong in the Bloodsworth case and should not pay.

We did something horribly wrong. We introduced a young man to a decade of hell.

I can only compare Mr. Shapiro's statement to that of the tobacco industry lawyers who say tobacco is not harmful or addictive. They say what they have to to save themselves and their clients money.

This time we have a chance to do what's right. We certainly didn't the first time.

ames E. Lorber


NAACP and history

Glen McNatt's apparent support for the NAACP's summit is understandable (column, June 25). The NAACP, Mr. McNatt asserts, would like to see everyone share in the organization's "long term goals of equality and justice for all Americans."

But with the invitation of bigots and despots to its recent conference in Baltimore, I wonder if these goals are really attainable?

As an African-American woman who has become educated as a result of affirmative dedication, I have some hard questions to ask:

Has the NAACP, which I have long supported, sunk into such an abyss that, in its struggle to survive, it must embrace a foul-mouthed separatist with a mixed bag of ideas -- most scurrilous -- who attracts a blind and faithful following?

What has Louis Farrakhan been doing these last 10 years, as black crime and unwed motherhood have escalated and our moral compasses have become inverted? Off the backs of our black brothers, Mr. Farrakhan has become a millionaire.

The French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, perhaps stated it best when he said, "It is possible to synthesize enthusiasm, devotion and hope by activating hatred." We must take note, however, that history has taught us its consequences.

Has the NAACP learned anything from history? When its accepts among its ranks agitators, prevaricators and purveyors of hate who pursue the road map of Bolsheviks, Fascists and Nazis, I really wonder.

Cheryl Scott Williams

Owings Mills

Fort McHenry

Although we who are directly involved in the preservation and enhancement of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine appreciate the interest, we feel The Evening Sun June 23 editorial, "Deteriorating Ft. McHenry," may have been inadvertently misleading.

While it's true that money has been provided by the federal government to repair much of the damage inflicted by time and neglect, the campaign to acquire those funds was initiated in the private sector by the Patriots of Fort McHenry.

It was strongly supported by veterans' organizations and other local citizens through the office of Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, in whose district the fort is located.

The funds acquired for repair and restoration aren't nearly enough to cover all the work that has been and must be done.

The mast from which the "Star Spangled Banner" flies, for example, was set in place only a few years ago at the precise spot where the original stood through the combined efforts of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, CSX Corp. and many other non-public contributors.

But most important is the pressing need for a new visitor and education center.

The current structure was built to accommodate an average of 150,000 visitors each year. That number has now grown to more than 650,000.

For that reason, the Patriots of Fort McHenry have this year launched a major capital campaign to raise more than $5 million for the design and creation of a new visitor center.

In a city rich in history, Fort McHenry is truly the crown jewel. But vTC a great deal more must be done to make that unique and priceless gem to sparkle.

Alan R. Walden


B6 The writer is president, Patriots of Fort McHenry.

Guessing game

Prescription errors due to doctors' scratchy-scrawly penmanship may cause added illnesses and longer hospital stays.

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