More prisons needed to deter criminalsThe article, "New...


February 18, 1996

More prisons needed to deter criminals

The article, "New prison construction comes to halt," by Peter Jensen (Jan. 23) requires a reply.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has now called for a halt to prison construction. His rationale is that this money could better be used for education and other ventures.

Although I commend him for his lofty thoughts, the fact is that our prisons are now overcrowded and will continue to be. Many are committing crimes -- and serious ones, at that -- and are getting off with a slap on the wrist.

Not only must we realistically tighten our laws to foster better enforcement and eliminate the overuse of "probation before verdict" and plea bargaining, both of which have made a three-ring circus out of our courts, but also we must build more prisons.

Unless we build more prisons, we will continue to allow criminals to make a mockery of the law. The streets are not safe, policemen are beaten and shot, and the majesty of the law has become a travesty.

Unless we build more and better prisons, we will never eliminate the real criminal element. Many know that due to a lack of prison space, judges are sometimes forced to cut in half a sentence, while in other cases murderers literally go free.

This is a matter of public record. Let's not kid ourselves. Unless we build more prisons and make all guilty parties serve out their sentences, we will continue to walk and live among the elements of crime.

# John A. Micklos Baltimore

Star-spangled idea for team name

Why not name your new football team the Baltimore Keys, to honor the Maryland patriot who gave America its national anthem?

John Maffre Bethesda

Team shouldn't be the 'Bombers'

When I see the images of carnage coming from the recent terrorist attack in London and am reminded of the horror inflicted last year upon the people of Oklahoma City, I am utterly amazed that anyone is even entertaining the idea of naming Baltimore's new football team the Bombers.

` Cindy Sweigard Laurel

Team name should rhyme with Colts

Beginning with the first Colt game I saw in 1947, into the Irsay years when I gave up my season tickets, there were many thrills.

Besides the great plays like Unitas to Berry, Lenny Moore's spectacular runs or Gino Marchetti smearing a quarterback, the enthusiastic fans enjoyed many other unique displays.

The Colt marching band and song were among them. We could keep the song and change one letter, C to B.

Yes, "Baltimore Bolts," represented by lightning bolts on the helmets, would be ideal. It even sounds attractive.

Not necessary, but a pony named Lightning could replace Dixie, who romped after each score.

"Let's go, you Baltimore Bolts."

` Edward G. Ward Bel Air

Reviewer's memory too selective

The Jan. 28 review by Edwin Guthman, "Burnham on justice," of my book on the Justice Department, ''Above the Law,'' attacks me on the grounds that I don't tell the complete story.

To support his point, Mr. Guthman describes a case where an influential Pennsylvania congressman persuaded President Carter to fire a U.S. attorney who was trying to put the congressman in prison. My alleged failing was that I did not then note that, after the firing had become a controversial public issue, a new U.S. attorney was appointed who months later convicted the congressman.

Curiously, Mr. Guthman's criticism confirms the very point I was making: that the process of federal justice often is subject to secret manipulation. He also fails to tell an eerily similar story from my book about how Mr. Guthman's former boss, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, killed an earlier Justice Department investigation of Philadelphia corruption after receiving a private call from that city's Democratic political boss.

! David Burnham Washington

UMBC patronizing on research park

As president of Catonsville's South Rolling Road Community Association, the Jan. 27 article on Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, was of particular interest to me.

Although I personally have ambivalent feelings on the issue of the UMBC Research Park, I think it can safely be said that the matter has been handled badly by proponents, including Dr. Hrabowski.

For example, although the SRRCA has been an active association for more than six years, and although our association area borders the campus, we have never been contacted by Dr. Hrabowski, despite his assertions of community outreach and support.

We were overlooked despite the fact that we are listed with Baltimore County and regularly receive notices of hearings of local development projects, including the research park.

We have been members of both the Southwest Coalition, and the District 1 Leadership Council.

We are also listed in the "Homeowners Associations" section of Patuxent Publishing's 1995 Catonsville Telephone Directory, and the 1995 Directory of Organizations in Baltimore County, published by the Baltimore County Public Library.

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