Delegate's defense of death penalty sparks anger, praise...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 19, 2000

Delegate's defense of death penalty sparks anger, praise

Del. Carmen Amedori argued that if Eugene Colvin-el is guilty enough to keep in jail, he is guilty enough to execute ("Victims' rights are diminished," June 11).

A fundamental tenet of death penalty law is - and has been for sometime - that only the actual killer can be executed. An accomplice, even if he stood next to the killer, is not subject to death. That appears to be the issue in the Colvin-el case.

Thus Ms. Amedori appears either to be a strong supporter of the death penalty who doesn't know a basic rule about the law she so ardently supports - which is perhaps excusable for a citizen, but frightening for a legislator - or a politician seeking to score political points on the life of another human being.

There are few better examples of the death penalty's dangers. Politics and executions are a dangerous mix.

Dan Shemer

Lutherville

I cannot but applaud Del. Carmen Amedori's succinct review of the disgraceful performance of our state's chief executive in the Colvin-el episode.

She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to the stale liberalism that pervades The Sun.

Her unbending support for the honest, law-abiding citizens of this state provides evidence that there are voices of reason and logical thought in the legislature.

W.C. Harsanyi

Pasadena

Let the governor, church pay Colvin-el's jail bill

The governor chose to commute Eugene Colvin-el's death sentence to life imprisonment. I say, let the governor support this criminal for the next 30 years out of his personal finances.

The taxpayers should not have to support Colvin-el to the tune of the more than $20,000 a year it takes to keep someone incarcerated.

Or better yet, since the Catholic church appealed for Colvin-el's sentence to be changed, maybe it could start paying taxes; then the church could have a say in government affairs.

Barbara Rogers

Baltimore

Some will always believe there's no option but to kill

Sometime in the second century, bleeding-heart Romans must have petitioned the Emperor Hadrian for a moratorium on throwing Christians to the lions.

The knee-jerk Roman patriots must have answered back, "How else are we to eliminate Christianity?"

A. Robert Kaufman

Baltimore

Schaefer, Pratt could help city schools control finances

Baltimore Comptroller Joan M. Pratt has proposed that she and state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer become ex-officio members of the Baltimore school board ("Booker urged to fire 2 aides," June 1).

I think the comptroller's idea is worth consideration. By overseeing bids, Ms. Pratt and Mr. Schaefer would foil such embarrassments as the alleged favoritism in two no-bid contract by Roger Reese Jr., the schools' chief financial officer, and the schools' business officer, Wilbur Giles Jr.

I cannot think of a better way to monitor spending. Both Ms. Pratt and Mr. Schaefer are elected officials with a demonstrated interest in the city of Baltimore.

Further, the exit of school CEO Robert Booker and others leaves the school system without leadership.

As a new administration enters, wouldn't it make sense to maintain consistency in the monitoring of spending?

Denise Coleman-Baker

Baltimore

It was President Clinton who embarrassed himself . . .

The logic of the writer of "Starr's obsession caused impeachment, humiliation" (letters, June 10) in attacking Kenneth Starr and not the real culprit is similar to that of left-wingers who attack the gun as the murder culprit, not the criminal.

I absolutely agree that the country was shamefully embarrassed. However, not by Mr. Starr, but by the president.

No wonder a lot of our youth are so degenerate. What an example our president and draft-dodging commander-in-chief has set for them.

J. Edward Johnston

Baltimore

. . . but we saw more than enough of Kenneth Starr

The Sun's article "Starr urges judges to be more open to public" (June 10) quotes the former independent counsel - who was also a judge - as saying: "It would have been better for me to have been simply making myself more available . . ."

Just how the grandstanding Mr. Starr could have been more available is hard to imagine, but let us be grateful for small favors.

We had a nauseating dose of Mr. Starr as it was. Larger doses would likely have produced nationwide vomiting.

Franklin T. Evans

Baltimore

Being a Christian demands more than a verse or tattoo

Maybe after Ray Lewis finally puts to rest his never-ending victory speeches, he will consult a knowledgeable religious leader to determine just what constitutes being called a Christian.

I'm sure Mr. Lewis will learn that it's not having your mother send you a daily Bible verse or possessing a religious tattoo.

John C. Zaruba

Baltimore

Efforts to save St. Stans are well under way

As the chairman of the steering committee to save St. Stanislaus Church, I can assure the writer of the recent letter "Why not turn St. Stanislaus into a cultural museum?" (June 9) that every effort is being made to preserve the church and the other parish buildings.

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