Greiber on Math Victims' Advocates on Greiber

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 16, 1994

Crime rate up. Arrest rate up. Criminal cases brought in Circuit Court down. Looks simple enough.

But, if that "new" math is too confusing for you, let's revisit your "old" math. The Lord spoke in parables. Maybe I should, too. If you have more fish in the pond, why are there not more in the skillet?

"Old" math fact: When Frank Weathersbee became Anne

Arundel County state's attorney, it took 138 days to bring a case to trial. Now it's 144 days. The state average: 112 days. That difference between Weathersbee's 144 days and the state average costs the county taxpayer a premium of $1,667 per case. Or should we call that "Weathersbee's Weakness Tax"?

"Old" math fact: Weathersbee takes 30 days before he even begins to screen a case. Next longest jurisdiction: 14 days. Another $729 per case.

"Old" math fact: Weathersbee got waxed on four out of five teacher-child abuse cases. Only the "Geraldo confession" was a win.

"Old" math fact: Weathersbee's last court trial was two years ago. And he lost it. To a new public defender. Criminal law is "complex," is it?

"Old" math fact: Weathersbee was not only reversed in the Marsh murder case, he stiffed the press on release of information and lost that case too, costing the taxpayers $20,000 -- in lawyer's fees.

"Old" math fact: An attempted murderer walked free because Weathersbee could not get the case to trial in the required 180 days. Result, another loss. This one on a technicality which drew the ire of the judge.

"Old" math fact: Does Weathersbee have the highest reversal rate in the state or what? The Emory reversal is only the latest in a constant and long line. . . .

"Old" math fact: It only took one Weathersbee plea bargain to put Scotland Williams back on the street to kill. Weathersbee plea bargains 90.1 percent of his Circuit Court cases.

You have pointed out "Weathersbee's Weakness." By your own reckoning, to return him to office would be like hiring Don Knotts as a bouncer. . . .

Now, let's deal with the real intellectual dishonesty of your Oct. 7 editorial. ("John Greiber's New Math.") . . .

Either intentionally or through inattention, you grossly misstated my position. You attributed to me something that I neither said nor wrote. I was careful to never suggest a "match" between the depicted trend-lines. I was careful to indicate that a parallel, convergence or divergence of trend-lines had analytic value, but never did I allude to a "match." I do just happen to know at least that much about the criminal justice system, your smug innuendo . . . notwithstanding. . . .

John R. Greiber Jr.

Annapolis

The writer is the Republican candidate for Anne Arundel County state's attorney.

After reading, with great dismay, the account of a recent debate between opponents in Anne Arundel County's state's attorney's race (The Sun, Sept. 22), I feel compelled to respond to John R. Greiber's inane proposal to fire the paid victim advocates presently under the auspices of the state's attorney's office and replace them with volunteers. . . .

Anne Arundel County currently boasts one of the most efficient, well-organized and most competently staffed victim-witness units in the state. It serves as a model for other counties attempting to initiate similar programs, and represents, in large part, the goals advocated by most grass-roots organizations concerned with the struggles and rights of victims. . . .

It is apparent to anyone who has been involved with the state's attorney's victim advocates that Mr. Greiber has not done his homework on this subject. His reference to these caring individuals as "huggers," reflects not only his underlying devaluation of their role within the criminal justice system, but also exposes his total lack of understanding of the victims' issues which the advocates seek to address.

While volunteers can fill the gaps in victim services created by a lack of resources and overwhelming need, the suggestion that they could assume the role of qualified, trained advocates is absurd. Mr. Greiber states that "victims are standing in line and want to do this kind of work." This assumes two things:

First, that victims . . . do not need paying jobs. Second, that victimization itself somehow qualifies one to assume the responsibilities of a victim advocate.

Based on my own experiences with the criminal justice system in the aftermath of my husband's murder in 1990 (Maryland State Police Cpl. Ted Wolf), I would strongly take exception to this ill-advised presumption.

It is also apparent that Mr. Greiber underestimates the intelligence of the people of Anne Arundel County. While virtually abolishing the services presently available to victims in this county with his totally irrational and irresponsible scheme, John Greiber does not miss a beat in making the "politically correct" statement that he is "all for victims' rights." . . .

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