Death row inmates don't deserve access to online...


April 07, 2001

Death row inmates don't deserve access to online resources

I am outraged that the state can spend our tax dollars to buy four computers for death row inmates to use, but is not able to provide textbooks in our inner-city schools ("Death row's computers link up inmates and law," March 30).

Those computers could have been put in a school setting where students would have had the chance to improve their lives. Death row inmates do not deserve to have access to state-of-the-art computers before Maryland students receive full support of their education needs.

The death row inmates have chosen their fate. They gave up certain rights when they committed the crimes for which they were tried and convicted.

Yet, once again, the criminal is given more rights than innocent, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. Where is the public outrage that supports victims rights?

Let's not reward the death row inmates with computers, televisions and street clothes. If Maryland makes prison life so appealing, where is the deterrent?

Diane Fohl, Ellicott City

I was quite distraught by The Sun's article "Death row's computers link inmates and law" (March 30).

At the young age of 17, my daughter's best friend was brutally strangled to death. Last February, her murderer was convicted and given a death sentence. We were assured that his remaining life would be spent behind bars 23 out of 24 hours a day.

But according to this article, death row resembles a high school study hall where inmates are free to wear T-shirts, shorts and sandals, while they do five hours a day of computer research on their cases.

As our legislators ponder a moratorium on the death penalty, please consider the victims who can no longer speak for themselves and their families and friends, whose lives are forever changed.

Marilyn Tupis, Eldersburg

Controlling retail drug prices could ruin local pharmacies

The bill that would set price controls on prescription drugs is a misguided attempt to control prescription prices at the retail level ("House passes drug relief," March 24).

Community pharmacies are not the cause of high prescription costs. As long as manufacturers have patent protection on their products, insurers can dictate what they pay and Congress does not overhaul health care, drug prices will be high.

Passing this type of price control would be devastating to a small business such as mine and give little relief to consumers.

At best, I would be unable to give my patients the counseling they deserve and the free delivery service that is convenient to many of my elderly clients. At worst, the bill would drive me out of business.

Avi Pelta, Baltimore

The writer is a pharmacist at James Pharmacy and Home Health Care.

Is waiting for light rail really so great a burden?

I was appalled at the plight of those in the Linthicum area whose lives are so tightly timed that waiting 30-40 seconds at a light rail crossing is a major disruption to their well-being ("Some say light rail can be heavy burden," March 26).

Since there are also numerous traffic lights in this area, some of them with cycles considerably longer than the average light rail crossing, I must assume that either these are inconsequential or that residents are allowed to ignore them.

Or perhaps there is something mysteriously malign about the light rail that makes it somehow different?

Herbert H. Harwood Jr., Baltimore

Cartoon unfairly portrayed Ariel Sharon as bloodthirsty

I often enjoy the creative works of The Sun's political cartoonists. However, the March 30 editorial cartoon depicting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a content man only if war is raging was unfair, untrue, offensive and biased.

Mr. Sharon's attack on Yasser Arafat's Force 17 was carried out when Mr. Arafat was away and would not get hurt. The attack followed a myriad of bloody terrorist bombings that ruthlessly and intentionally killed Israeli babies and teen-agers.

The Jewish nation has had to defend itself against an unacceptable degree of hatred. The Sun's cartoon was slanderous and a perversion of the truth.

Pamela Rockman Weissman, Baltimore

I'm troubled by Mike Lane's March 30 editorial cartoon showing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon having a good snooze despite the sounds of explosions.

Mr. Sharon did not start the recent spate of Palestinian violence, nor did his trip to the Temple Mount last fall cause the present Intifada, which was planned in advance by the Palestinian Authority.

And while the Israeli military response has not succeeded in stopping it, so far Mr. Sharon's policy has been little different than that of Ehud Barak, who staked his entire political career upon making a just peace with the Palestinians only to have them turn him down.

Jack Eisenberg, Baltimore

Don't let the video scandal ruin a fine school's reputation

The video scandal going on around St. Paul's School is very disturbing and shocking. However, it should not upset the school's reputation.

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