The Other Side of the Snowhite ProsecutionYour latest...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 03, 1995

The Other Side of the Snowhite Prosecution

Your latest editorial defending Pamela Snowhite Davis ("Snowhite and the Prosecutor's Dwarfs," Aug. 15) is as ridiculous as the others you have written on this subject. You write that Bart Walker and I "decided to make Ms. Davis an example because she stood up for her constitutional rights."

Let's set the record straight. A deputy sheriff in California alerted the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force that a package of high-grade marijuana was being delivered to Ms. Davis' home. The task force officers and Bart Walker, in honor of Ms. Davis' constitutional rights, drafted a valid search and seizure warrant reviewed and signed by a judge to search her home and recover this drug and all sorts of drug paraphernalia.

They did not arrest her and cart her off to jail but served her with a criminal summons. While awaiting trial, the task force received telephone calls from the parents of four Carroll County children claiming that their children visited Ms. Davis' clothing store and came home with marijuana plant seeds.

Once again, honoring Ms. Davis' constitutional rights, Bart drafted a search and seizure warrant which was reviewed and signed by a judge and served at her store, which led to the recovery of marijuana seeds, later found in tests at the police crime lab to be viable.

Had one of your children been given marijuana seeds at her shop, your editorials would no doubt be rather different. And, again, your editorial mentions the "arbitrary seizure of her computer," which you have brought up in editorials before.

Why is it you do not relate that when the police turned on this computer, which Ms. Davis said contained her innocent business records, the officers found instructions on how to make bombs? Most readers of average intelligence would conclude that the police had a rather valid interest in such matters, then and now.

At the same time, officers learned that Ms. Davis, awaiting trial on criminal charges, was making inquiries at a gun shop as to the best kind of "high-powered rifles to use to protect her property."

The two appeals which flowed from the trials of Ms. Davis resulted in court opinions which will assist other prosecutors and trial courts as to what evidence may be introduced to show the intent of those arrested for possession of drugs. These opinions fill in legal voids and are valuable in their contributions to the fabric of the law.

As for Ms. Davis, no doubt, many will lament that she no longer resides here. You are so lucky to have her in Baltimore. News reporters, including yours, have related that in her last interview in Carroll County she was so profane and made such wild statements that you decided not to print them in your newspaper. One wonders why you did not do so in honor of her constitutional rights to freedom of speech?

Thomas E. Hickman

Westminster

The writer is former state's attorney for Carroll County.

Queen for a Day?

Re: Your article of July 9, "TV show with 'heart' gives gift," by Anne Haddad. I am happy for Mildred Ewing, a Hampstead woman who will receive the electric wheelchair needed to enjoy independence and a quality of life she deserves. I am not happy about the failure of her health insurance to provide that medical equipment.

According to Beth Scovill, who solicited the donation from a private donor, Mrs. Ewing's state medical assistance will not pay for an electric wheelchair because Mrs. Ewing already has a manual chair. Why not, especially if Mrs. Ewing can no longer operate a manual chair?

To obtain the eyeglasses to ready my daily Sun, must I appear in quasi-telethons? ("Have a Heart" purportedly is a contemporary "Queen for a Day" show.)

If I need trifocals, will I be denied "eye mobility," because I already have bifocals?

If cataracts diminish my quality of life, must their removal be dependent on my willingness to be "promotional material" for charitable-for-profit businesses? (My mother always told me that true charity is silent.)

I repeat: I am happy for Mrs. Ewing. But why doesn't her health insurance consider mobility equipment a medical necessity? . . .

The Sun treats superficially a serious deficiency and paradox in our health insurance system; Corrective vision is considered a medical necessity, but "corrective" mobility is considered a luxury -- a "luxury" needed, however, by an increasing number of individuals as our population ages.

Your story on Mrs. Ewing's good fortune falls to address the underlying social reasons why some of us are required to solicit -- sometimes beg -- for medical necessities. Her situation is not unique. Your story is not complete.

Marilynn J. Phillips

Hampstead

The writer is a retired associate professor of English and language arts at Morgan State University and a researcher in disability studies.

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