Will state execute an indigent man who might be...


June 05, 2000

Will state execute an indigent man who might be innocent?

Thank you for printing John H. Morris Jr.'s article "Colvin-el's case merits clemency" (May 28). It belonged on the front page, for every citizen should know we are about to put to death a man who was convicted on circumstantial evidence.

If Eugene Colvin-el were a white, middle-class businessman or a rich, black sports figure convicted on such evidence, there would be a great outcry and front page articles daily.

But Mr. Colvin-el is a low-income black who was involved in petty crimes before being charged with murder. This man is being sent to death without proof he ever entered the home where the murder occurred.

It is as if the execution machinery is moving forward on its own accord. But the governor could intervene.

Those of us who are shocked that the state could execute a person when so much doubt exists about his guilt must stop this man from being killed.

Gwen L. DuBois


Capital punishment is the best deterrent we have

I do not agree with The Sun's editorial opposing capital punishment ("A halt to execution is in order for Maryland," May 15).

Why should someone who killed your loved one not be executed for the crime?

Why should he live in jail, presumably for the rest of his life, at taxpayers' expense?

Capital punishment is definitely a deterrent -- the best one we have -- and it does stop some killings.

The easier we make it on criminals, the more crimes of all types we will have. It's a shame the liberal press such as The Sun cannot see this.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening is correct in his stand for capital punishment, and he should be praised for it.

Most people in Maryland are for capital punishment -- and justifiably so.

Norman R. Wirts


Bush's `concealed carry' bill wasn't unusual or unwise

Over the past few months, several letters have criticized Texas Gov. George W. Bush for signing a bill that allows law-abiding Texas citizens to carry concealed firearms. The implication in these letters is that somehow Mr. Bush is out of step with the rest of the country.

But if anyone is out of step, it is Maryland's leadership. Thirty-one states trust law-abiding adult citizens enough to allow them to carry concealed firearms with little more than a thorough background check and safety course.

In fact, three of Maryland's neighbors allow concealed weapons --Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

If Mr. Bush is out of step for trusting his citizens to be responsible, then he obviously is in good company. And violent crime in the 31 states that allow concealed weapons has fallen faster than in the remaining 19 states.

Donald Keefer


Scare tactics don't impeach Bush's Social Security reform

What a travesty, that a union spokesman would use scare tactics to advance failed political policies ("Bush wouldn't save Social Security or White House's dignity," letters, May 26).

All Ernest Grecco's objections to the Texas Gov. George W. Bush's proposal -- that it may run up the national debt or lead to a raise in the retirement age or a cut in benefits or higher taxes -- are inherent in the Social Security system's current state of affairs.

And Al Gore's proposal is more of the same -- dependency on government.

What Mr. Bush brings to the campaign is a promise of dignity, along with integrity and leadership for Americans in love with governance more in keeping with what the authors of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had in mind.

Vincent Ciletti


Rebuilt Owings House saves developer, not history

The Samuel Owings House is gone. It was destroyed four years ago, demolished with a political handshake and a developer's bulldozer. No amount of promises or protestations will restore or rebuild it.

Howard Brown may be building a house, but he preserves no old building. How much can one do with a pile of rubble and splintered history?

This project is economic self-preservation but it is not historic preservation, which is what the law requires of any other citizen.

Ruth B. Mascari


The writer chairs the Baltimore County Historical Trust.

Israeli apology isn't key to peace

I understand James Ron's guilt over his behavior while serving in the Israeli army. Such behavior is despicable ("Making peace first means having to say you're sorry," Opinion Commentary, May 29).

Unfortunately that is the way of war. Innocent people get hurt.

I lived in Israel for five years, I was there during the Yom Kippur War. I remember running to the bomb shelters with a child under each arm as the rockets came flying overhead. We slept in bomb shelters for more than six weeks.

Certainly war is hell. There is no army in the world that has not committed human rights atrocities.

What I don't understand is why Mr. Ron is holding the Israelis to a higher standard.

Why must only Israel recognize and compensate those it has harmed?

Who is apologizing to the Jews for all of the atrocities against them?

Joan Solomon


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