Reserving sympathy for victim's family, not executed...


November 24, 1998

Reserving sympathy for victim's family, not executed killer

Tyrone X Gilliam admitted his guilt in a cold-blooded murder. He was allowed 10 years of appeals, and justice was finally served. My sympathies are reserved for the family affected by this horrible tragedy and not for the perpetrator of the crime.

William Hennick


Why don't we just institute "an eye for an eye" and put all killers to death? It seems to me that the state of Maryland has a selective death penalty -- some killers go to jail, and some killers are put to death.

No, it isn't because of the race of the individual anymore. It seems to be the whim of each judge or jury. I don't have the answer as to what would be an effective deterrent for anti-social behavior, but I do think the punishment should fit the crime for everybody who kills.

Marilyn L. Graham


Opponents of death penalty have historic giants on side

Helen Keller, Eugene V. Debs, Albert Einstein, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mahatma Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy, George Bernard Shaw, Martin Luther King Jr. and Justices Louis Brandeis and Thurgood Marshall are giants, along with other greats, who opposed the death penalty.

One day, when capital punishment, like slavery, will be remembered as the abomination it was, our governor will only be remembered as a mediocrity on the wrong side of history.

Gerald Ben Shargel


Organ donations are simple way to save someone's life

Froma Harrop's Opinion Commentary column "Compensating organ donors" (Nov. 16) was essential and interesting. It revealed important and unfortunate facts about organ donation that the American public should be motivated to change.

It is a shame that many people do not check "yes" in the donor box on their driver's licenses. I agree that some people do not want to pay the extra money to become an organ donor, but it is for a worthy cause. The simplicity of paying the license-renewal fee should be obvious to all because that amount of money could save someone else's life.

One suggestion to encourage a person to pay the fee is to put the money into a fund that could enhance the study of organ transplants and improve the success rate of organ transplants.

Death is not a topic that many people enjoy thinking or talking about, but saving a person's life is extraordinary. If everyone would simply check the "yes" box on their licenses, more people on the organ waiting list would be saved.

Laura A. Randisi


Extreme threats to pupils should never be condoned

The apparent show of support for the principal who threatened an 8-year-old with mutilation is disturbing, although not necessarily surprising in a society where corporal punishment and verbal abuse are equated with strict discipline ("Wrong message to students in disciplining of principal," Nov. 20, letters).

Many of the principal's defenders appear to feel that threats to the physical safety of children are good disciplinary techniques. Indeed, many seemed to justify her behavior by pointing to their own child-rearing practices and to the way they were raised.

Proponents of the principal's methods forget that children who behave in an unruly manner are frequently already victims of various forms of physical and verbal abuse at home. Like corporal punishment, cruel and violent threats do nothing to change long-term behavior. Threatening a young child with sexual mutilation should never be condoned.

It is clear that the school system should have handled the situation differently. The principal should have been dismissed immediately after the incident came to light, and steps should now be taken to be sure that she never be entrusted with the care of young children in any other school system.

Marc Mugmon


Sports stadium expansion would impact Towson area

Towson University's misguided plan to expand its sports stadium complex is an example of an institution formulating a costly schedule to self-destruct and bring down its surroundings at the same time ("Towson stadium concerns neighbors," Nov. 16).

Even a brief tour of the university and the nearby communities underscores this point.

TU is closely encircled by a nationally acclaimed psychiatric hospital, an excellent hospital, a medical office building, two award-winning public schools, a well-maintained apartment complex, a beautiful retirement home, a small-scale and lovely commercial area being repaved for pedestrians to encourage local business development and several residential areas -- all are stable, attractive, affordable and family-friendly.

If the stadium is enlarged, all will be adversely affected, and the entire community will eventually fall into decline. There is not enough space or the infrastructure to support such an expansion.

It is obvious that TU needs to address other university and community issues if it truly wants to become competitive with other quality colleges and universities.

Diane Wittner


Orioles didn't show class in dealing with Eric Davis

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