Above the Law
What would happen to an ordinary citizen who ran a red light, ignored a state trooper who tried to pull him over, flipped on an illegal siren, waved the trooper away, then drove into an underground security garage that locked behind him?
Could he possibly receive fines totaling $1,500? Have his driver's license suspended? Locked up until he gets a lawyer and makes bail? A few days in jail? Perhaps some community service?
Well, if you happen to be U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Kenkel, you don't have to worry about any of these problems. Rank obviously has its privileges.
The State Police hierarchy as well as the chief federal judges have whitewashed this whole sordid episode. Apparently, Chief U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz and Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Clarence Goetz feel the best course of action is no action in order to protect the reputation of the "good old boy network." After all, it could happen to them someday.
The Sun is to be commended for bringing this judge's deplorable actions to the attention of the citizens of Maryland. Public exposure can be very important to trim the wings of a high-flying egotist who attempts to use his influential position to coerce law enforcement officers to overlook his violation of the law.
0$ It is a very shameful situation.
Pakistan and the Bomb
My letter of April 13 stated that the extradition of terrorists linked to the World Trade Center bombings led to the fatal, cowardly attack on U.S. diplomats.
In his April 24 response, Shahid Mahmud states that the attack took place in Karachi and not in Islamabad. I stand corrected. The fact remains that two U.S. diplomats were killed by terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
More important, the Pressler Amendment is a U.S. law. It states that there can be no military sales or direct aid to Pakistan if the president could not certify that Pakistan did not possess a nuclear bomb.
Since 1990, no president has been able to certify as such. That's the reason the sale of the F-16s was canceled.
Finally, the author is wrong when he says that "Sen. Larry Pressler is a lone voice in support of this amendment that bears his name."
The amendment has broad-based support in Congress and is needed to keep the arms race from getting out of hand. . . .
Ads for Lawyers
I read, with a modicum of disgust, "Lawyer Advertising" by Vickie J. Gray, past president of the Baltimore chapter of the National Law Firm Marketing Association (Opinion * Commentary, April 27).
I will not waste words articulating her obvious prejudice occasioned by her position.
Contrary to her accusations, I am advised that Stephen L. Miles did not secure representation of Nathaniel Hurt via advertising. Rather, Mr. Miles was referred to Mr. Hurt by his son, who was represented by Mr. Miles on a previous matter. The concept of referral is probably foreign to Ms. Gray.
As to her point that hiring Mr. Miles to represent you in a murder trial is analogous to asking Jack Luskin to fix your refrigera tor, if I thought Mr. Luskin would come, I would request it, because based upon his obvious entrepreneurial drive and penchant for success, I know that if he could not correct the problem, he would immediately find someone who could.
Obviously, another concept which Ms. Gray would have trouble comprehending.
If she and her association are legitimate in their concern that ads for lawyers lower the moral thermostat of that industry, then they should focus on professional standards.
Her pathetic second guessing a lawyer's defense and a jury's verdict is 20/20 hindsight at its worst.
John B. Colvin
In a letter April 25, T. Bassett suggested that motorcycle riders did not have the right to ride without helmets as they cost the rest of us so much money.
This might be a valid argument if it were true.
Studies released during one of the many helmet law debates show that a motorcycle helmet is not a predictor in medical expenses.
To be sure, motorcycle riders in general cost more to fix after an accident than car drivers, whether or not a helmet was used.
What I found very interesting in the studies was that the most accurate predictor of medical expense for any accident (car or motorcycle) was whether the injured was insured.
This predictor was valid for both private and government insurance.
Those who paid their own costs had the lowest medical bills by far.
If T. Bassett et al are truly concerned about the costs to society, maybe they should consider outlawing all forms of health insurance.
Michael C. Klapp
Frostburg State University is denying the rights of its students to use university facilities that are paid for with our tax dollars and tuition fees. As a parent of one of these students, I am outraged. As a taxpayer, I am asking for the state to assure that these students' civil rights are not being violated.