Because of a typographical error, the author's name on a...


April 25, 1995

Because of a typographical error, the author's name on a letter to the editor about the Nathaniel Hurt trial published yesterday was misspelled. The writer was Isaac C. Lycett.

+ The Sun regrets the errors.

Hurt Trial: The Larger Issue

The sad conclusion to the Nathaniel Hurt trial has masked the real issue.

Witness after witness underscored the dilemma of the circumstances of inner-city young people.

There was the inability of little Kenny in the sixth grade, who could not manage the word "cut" when asked to read his earlier testimony, in which he had admitted to cutting Hurt's garden hose.


There were the circumstances of eight boys living together in a foster home without benefit of adult male influence. But no matter. They live together only four months and then move on to another foster home.

There was the snickering in the courtroom when Hurt, in his testimony, expressed futility in dialing 911 for help when circumstances are out of control.

There was the endless testimony about guns. How many guns were there? Where did the bullets go? Did the young man with a pistol in his belt shoot? At whom?

Justice was done in the courtroom, according to the law. Hurt was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for shooting toward 12-year-olds who were trashing his car.

He killed one. We are left to wonder, was the youngster ever

given a decent burial? We are left to wonder what's to become of Kenny, who can't read a three-letter word in the sixth grade.

And what's to become of the others in Kenny's class, whose progress is surely hampered by Kenny's slow pace.

And, in the jury room, when one juror wondered to his neighbor how Kenny could ever hold a job, the neighbor replied, not to worry. Kenny will be dead in two years.

Nathaniel Hurt's dilemma was accurately reported in this paper. He was fairly judged by a microcosm of the city's population.

The jurors were young and old, men and women, black and white. They earned their $10 per day wrestling with eight days of testimony and arriving at their decision with great difficulty.

Now, who is going to address the larger issue? What's to become of these young people who are left?

Isaac C. Lyett


The writer was a juror in the trial of Nathaniel Hurt.

Showing Bias

Once again The Sun shows its bias and inaccuracy.

William Zorzi's April 14 article, "A shopper's guide to legislative seats," had pictures of Michael Wagner and Janice Piccinini with the caption they ". . . lost in 1994's first and second costliest Senate races."

By the paper's account, the race in which Ms. Piccinini was involved was the fourth or fifth most expensive race, and that was because Sen. Paula Hollinger was such a big spender. Ms. Piccinini was the ninth highest spender among the senators listed.

Pictures of either the first and second highest spenders or the first and second highest-spending losers would have made sense. For The Sun to publish Ms. Piccinini's picture with an inaccurate and inflammatory caption is irresponsible.

Elloyd E. Lotridge


Personal Choices

This is in response to the April 14 letter regarding helmet laws.

Steven P. Strohmier feels that the helmet laws are "an attempt to legislate common sense." If people actually used common sense, this would not have to be legislated.

Common sense dictates that helmets protect people from serious injury in the event of an accident. Why is this so hard for the opponents of the helmet laws to understand?

Mr. Strohmier also believes that peoples' lives are being micro-managed because of the helmet laws. I find it odd that no one said this when the seat belt laws were enacted, although they were for the same reason -- personal safety.

Opponents of these laws are so concerned with their own feelings that they do not see the other part of the picture -- the financial drain on families and the millions of taxpayer dollars spent every year on people not wearing helmets who were seriously injured in accidents.

Also, Mr. Strohmier feels that he should be able to do what he wants with his own body like "other segments of our population." The main difference with most of those situations is that they do not cost other people millions of dollars.

Opponents of the helmet laws should consider this the next time they want to holler about "personal" choices.

T. Bassett


The Race Card

It is clear in Mayor Kurt Schmoke's recent comments about teen disturbances in the Inner Harbor that he is so consumed with racial lines of division that he is no longer solving our city's many problems.

His terse dismissal of several legitimate complaints by citizens of our city has turned an issue of teen rowdiness, unfortunately typical of all races, into another little racial battle.

Is this really what a city plagued with racial tension and violence needs?

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