Study of homicides didn't give readers the data they...


January 14, 2000

Study of homicides didn't give readers the data they need

The Sun's "Homicides 1999: What went wrong" editorial (Jan. 4) was eye catching. However, it didn't provide any new information.

Anyone who listens to the radio or reads the newspaper knew that the Baltimore homicide rate was high and was expected to exceed 300 in 1999.

To help citizens understand the problem, The Sun should have provided answers to such questions as: What was the median age of murder victims and perpetrators? How many victims were women? What gender were the perpetrators?

How many victims were white? What was the race of the perpetrators?

How many murders were drug related? How many perpetrators were first time offenders? How many killers with records were released early from prison or released in error?

It's good to know that the Baltimore police department is making every effort to solve the 1999 murders.

However, these murders need to be prevented. To combat the lure of crime on the street, we need to provide equal educational opportunities to all children and programs that give them positive options.

We must also take swift and decisive action against criminals and keep them in prison.

Then, and only then, will the murder rate begin to drop.

L. Mack


Ending parole would bring genuine `truth in sentencing'

So much for the liberal babble about truth in sentencing: the individual convicted of Prince George's County police officer Carlton Fletcher's murder was released after serving 16 years in prison.

I said it during my campaign for governor and I say it now: There should be no parole for violent offenders.

The only way to prevent such parole is to pass a law requiring anyone convicted of murder, rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault to serve the sentence imposed in its entirety.

Terry McGuire


Commissioner Daniel wins policemen's faith

As a Baltimore police officer, I'd like to thank Commissioner Ronald L. Daniel for taking a stand in the controversy involving Richard Waybright ("Daniel defends helping man seeking gun," Jan. 8).

Seldom do we get support from our command staff during confrontational incidents. But Commissioner Daniel had the courage to speak out in the kind of circumstance where others have had a "no comment" response.

Commissioner Daniel took a big step toward restoring the faith of officers in the Baltimore police department.

Lt. Gary Yamin


I am disappointed The Sun would devote space to the article "Daniel vouched for fired officer" (Jan. 7).

How about this story: While a captain, Mr. Daniel accompanied us officers on several raids, including one at a high-rise where we had to run up 11 flights of steps.

In my 14-year police career, I have participated in more than 350 raids. Mr. Daniel is the only captain I've encountered going through a door.

Let's focus on catching the bad guys not disparaging the good guys.

Lt. David Adams


The writer is an officer of the Baltimore City police.

Those brandishing guns must be reported to police

As a police sergeant in Baltimore and a witness to the 2000 New Year's celebration, I am disgusted.

Thousands of rounds of ammunition were fired into the air on this special night Where were the communities that vowed to fight crimes in their neighborhoods?

They were allowing the firing of bullets into the air to celebrate the New Year, without calling the police to report these merry-making criminals.

If Baltimore is truly to become the city known for reading and not for bleeding, it is imperative that persons openly brandishing firearms be reported to the police.

Drew Hall


The writer is coordinator of Citizens on Patrol, Northeast District.

Were espionage suspect Lee's rights violated?

I find it puzzling that Wen Ho Lee was denied bail. But what's worse is that he has been required to speak to his family members only in English while in prison (Judge again denies scientist bail, points to missing tapes," Dec. 30).

This practice demands a thorough review of whether Mr. Lee's human rights have indeed been violated.

The denial of the privilege of Mr. Lee, a naturalized American citizen from Taiwan, to converse with loved ones in his native tongue reflects the thoughtlessness and incompetence, not to mention cruelty and discrimination, that many of us fight against in this land of diversity and justice.

P. C. Huang


Inattention to Kashmir may exact a steep price

The Sun's thoughtful editorial deploring the irresolution of Pakistan and Afghanistan over the terrorist hijacking of an India Airlines jet and the murder of a hostage neglected a key dimension of the issue: the brutality in Kashmir (including more than 65,000 extra-judicial killings in the last decade)and the denial 13 million Kashmiris' right to self-determination ("After the hijacking," Jan. 6) .

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