Domestic abuse victim was prosecuted for violating the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 15, 2001

Domestic abuse victim was prosecuted for violating the law

I read with much dismay The Sun's article regarding the prosecution of Calvin Woodard Jr. and his girlfriend, Joann L. Gilliam ("Advocates decry prosecution of domestic violence victim," April 2). I suppose my dismay is the result of not quite understanding just what it is that the victim advocates in this case want from the law enforcement and legal systems.

Ms. Gilliam was not prosecuted because she was a victim. She was prosecuted because she broke the law by committing perjury and obstructing justice.

She may have been a victim in the initial incident involving Mr. Woodard. But once she began to lie and change the evidence in the case against him, for whatever reason, she also became a criminal.

I strongly believe that the victims of domestic violence should be protected by law enforcement and assisted in every opportunity possible to rid themselves of the demons of their existence.

However, once a victim creates evidence of his or her own guilt, that person becomes culpable for his or her crimes as well.

Brian A. May, Baltimore

The writer is first vice president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3.

It's appalling to devote state funds to private schools

I find it absolutely appalling that state money will be funneled to private and parochial schools. I am amazed that the parents of public school students aren't protesting this fact strongly.

The government has done its job by providing funds for a public school system. Those who wish to send their children to private schools can obviously afford to do so; those who wish to send their children to parochial schools obviously want their children schooled in a chosen religion.

They have a choice. The children who go to public schools usually do not.

If the private schools and parochial schools do a better job of teaching the children because of smaller classrooms and better teachers (obviously because of better funding), perhaps parents of children in public schools should demand that the same principles apply to their schools.

Florence Smelkinson, Baltimore

Maybe union should strike against state hospital board

It seems ludicrous that while unionized workers are planning to strike certain area hospitals for more money ("Strike set at Sinai, Hopkins, GBMC," April 6), what the hospitals can charge to pay their expenses is controlled by a rate commission.

Maybe the union (AFCSME) should be striking the rate commission, which ultimately holds the pursestrings, not the hospitals caught in the middle.

H. H. Hackney, Butler

Use tax-cut windfall to oust the president

Apparently a tax cut of some magnitude is inevitable. While I'm not among that fabled top one percent for whom that cut is targeted for and who will so richly benefit, I nevertheless will have to decide what to do with my few extra dollars.

Proponents of the tax cut keep urging us to spend it, invest it or buy something to help the country. They see no difference between what's good for the economy and what's good for the country.

But I have found a way I can use my tax cut that is truly in the best interest of the country: I pledge to dedicate all of my tax cut to ensuring, as best I can, that George W. Bush is a one-term president.

Perhaps if a significant block of citizens join me in this pledge it might dawn on our elected officials, as well as our appointed president, that a better use might be found for those funds than to make our richest citizens even richer.

John R. Sorge, Betterton

Let items made in China stay on stores' shelves

When out shopping, check for a product's origin. If it was made in China, put it back on the shelf.

William Herzog, Nottingham

Dying to recover remains is profoundly futile

Sixteen men died in a tragic accident in Vietnam. Far more tragic, however, is that 16 lives were lost in our search for bone fragments ("16 bodies are recovered from crash in Vietnam," April 9).

We cannot bring our loved ones home to rest on U.S. soil. The best we can do is gather their decayed remains. This largely symbolic act is as foolish as it is futile.

Death forever separates us from our deceased loved ones. Our obsession with human remains shows many of us still have not grasped this essential bit of logic.

Ken Iman, Baltimore

President should recognize the good works of the NEH

In "Time to replace NEH head" (Opinion

Commentary, April 6), George Will demands that a Yale classicist replace William Ferris as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Mr. Ferris' offense? Mr. Will didn't like playwright Arthur Miller's 2001 Jefferson Lecture.

But as chairman, Mr. Ferris has ably continued the NEH's support of diverse activities illustrating our history and culture. Recent NEH projects include funding PBS documentaries, on-line state encyclopedias, museum exhibitions and summer arts and humanities programs for young people. The NEH also provides millions of dollars in grants for a variety of research endeavors, large and small.

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