No reduction in sentence for RodriguezIn your editorial...


October 16, 1997

No reduction in sentence for Rodriguez

In your editorial Oct. 14 on the plea bargain in the murder of State Police Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf, you miss some important points.

First, Francisco Rodriguez supplied the gun to Eric Tirado to murder Ted Wolf. They debated how to ambish him and who would kill him. They are equally guilty of this heinous murder.

Rodriguez lied to state police investigators in the initial interview to save himself. After being confronted with his lies, Rodriguez decided to give his version of the shooting.

Any plea agreement is based on an individual's ability to testify truthfully and consistently. In Rodriguez' case this is impossible, thus nullifying the plea agreement and reinstating the entire conviction.

Your position that most lifers die in prison is no consolation to those who have been victimized by numerous repeat offenders.

The previous Howard County state's attorney's office made serious mistakes when considering this plea agreement.

Why do you think the sentence was sealed? Many in the legal community have never heard of a sentence being sealed. Sounds like the former state's attorney's office didn't want anyone to know the terms of the plea agreement. If we in law enforcement had known about the agreement at the time, we would have acted, as we are acting now.

To her credit, the current Howard County state's attorney, Marna McLendon, has asked for a special prosecutor to investigate these mistakes. She realized this plea agreement may have serious problems.

The possibility that Rodriguez could receive a reduced sentence for his actions in the cowardly, unprovoked murder of Ted Wolf is an outrage.

The devastation that the Wolf family has undergone cannot be stated in words. Mr. Rodriguez' actions led to the murder of an outstanding hero, father, and model Maryland State Trooper. Rodriguez should be given zero consideration for his part in this horrific crime against the Wolf family and the citizens of Maryland.

Patrick Jameson

Annapolis Junction

The writer is president of the State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance.

Orioles should bring 'scalp-free zone' back

The decision by the Orioles management to eliminate the ''scalp-free zone'' during the 1997 playoffs represents a cop-out by team officials that hurts fans and promotes illegal activity.

As reported in The Sun (''Fans beware: fake tickets are being sold,'' Oct. 8; ''Nine arrested for scalping at stadium,'' Oct. 9), when the scalp-free zone is not open, it is illegal to sell a ticket for any price within a mile of Camden Yards. The elimination of the zone hurts both fans who have extra tickets that they cannot use and those who would like to attend the game but who could not buy tickets in advance.

The elimination of the zone also converts usually legal activity into illegal activity. Of the nine people arrested for ''scalping'' tickets for the first playoff game against Cleveland, some were selling tickets at face value.

This same activity was perfectly legal in the scalp-free zone during the 1996 playoff game against Cleveland, and many fans who had extra tickets and others who could not purchase tickets in advance took advantage of the zone last year.

The justification given by the Orioles management for eliminating the zone is specious at best. They say they closed the zone due to the appearance of counterfeit tickets. The existence of counterfeit tickets last year did not hinder the effectiveness of the scalp-free zone.

Furthermore, why is it any more of a burden for officials in the scalp-free zone to check tickets than it is for ticket-takers to check the other 48,000-plus tickets that pass through the gates?

Edwin G. Fee Jr.


Column on menopause praised for insights

Susan Reimer did a great service for men, as well as women, with her insightful column on menopause in the Oct. 5 Sun.

Today's American male is much more knowledgeble than his father about the outward physical signs of menopause. Courageous women like Ms. Reimer, willing to expose the once-hidden secrets of a woman's spiritual struggle at this time of life, help men better understand the changes in the behavior of their mothers and their wives.

Charles L. Taylor


Why build new houses in a city of empties?

Now that your Oct. 7 editorial has justified spending $310,650 in public funds to build a new 1,350 square-foot row house, would you explain why we are spending public money to build ''new'' houses in a city where the number of ''empty'' housing units approaches 50,000 -- or one in six of Baltimore's 310,000 housing units -- and keeps increasing each year?

Until the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state of Maryland learn to say ''no'' to the big developers and home builders and allow cities like Baltimore to spend public housing dollars to support those older neighborhoods which can be saved, we will continue to see these beautiful neighborhoods decline.

Shame on Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes, who hold such powerful positions overseeing HUD's policies.

Vincent P. Quayle


The writer is executive director of St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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