'Maternal' traits don't keep prosecutor from doing her...


September 09, 2001

'Maternal' traits don't keep prosecutor from doing her job

Warren A. Brown recently criticized Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy for being "too grandmotherly to inspire fear in criminals" ("Lawyer plans run against Jessamy," Aug. 31). Many people would agree that her office is failing in its mission, but this is not because of Ms. Jessamy's gender or whether she has children or grandchildren.

Ms. Jessamy is a warm and nurturing person. These "maternal" traits should not be mistaken for weakness; in fact, they are positive attributes for any prosecutor.

The strength, courage, and discipline of generations of grandmothers have prevented even more aggressive males from victimizing our society. And grandmothers serve successfully in a multitude of capacities, including on the Supreme Court and as partners in major law firms.

None of the recent serious mistakes made by the State's Attorney's Office have been caused by the prosecutor being "too grandmotherly." Such old-fashioned ideas impede the search for solutions.

Anton J. S. Keating


The writer is a former chief prosecutor for Baltimore's State's Attorney's Office.

Local attorney Warren A. Brown indicated he will challenge Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy for that position because she is, in his words, "too grandmotherly."

It is shocking that Mr. Brown would characterize Ms. Jessamy in such a clearly sexist way in this day and age. It is precisely this type of stereotyping that continues to cause harm to all our communities.

It is certainly not appropriate for a person who wants to represent the people of this city to alienate at least 50 percent of the population with a casual sexist remark. It also does a disservice to the many grandmothers in our communities who work every day to make our city safer.

Kim J. Samele


When you carry a gun, you risk getting shot

I think the writer of the letter "Police were quick to deem Santiago shooting 'justifiable'" (Sept.2) needs to walk, for just a month, in the shoes of a Baltimore police officer.

I'm impressed that the writer apparently has the expertise to differentiate a pellet gun and a real gun, even when it is hidden in someone's waistband, in evening light, at a distance of more than 20 feet.

And I suppose the writer would like the officers to say "excuse me, is that a real gun stuck in your waistband? I need to know before I draw my handgun."

But I fear that the officer, who may have a wife and children at home, would likely be shot before he could get the words "excuse me" out.

With all the shooting and killing in Baltimore, you take the risk of being shot when you carry a gun (or gun look-alike) not just by a police officer, but by criminals as well. Somebody should have informed Jose Luis Santiago of that, so this accident could have been avoided.

Tim Lott

Perry Hall

Keep Mexico's Fox out of our henhouse

I think the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, will be good for his country after the one-party rule the country had for so long ("Sights lowered for visit by Fox," Sept. 5).

What worries me is his range of vision. Mr. Fox is looking for open borders, as we have with Canada. But the two situations aren't quite the same. Mexican workers want to run across the border, make big bucks and run home. I can't see how that will help the American economy at all.

We can't stop the drugs from coming across the border now. What will happen if Mexican trucks can come in and travel all over the states unencumbered?

I think we ought to keep this Fox out of the henhouse.

John Fornaro


Abolishing all Indian names would employ mapmakers

Indian names really bug me ("Schools prohibit Indian names," Aug. 25). I think Jeep should stop making the Cherokee and General Motors should stop making the Pontiac.

Also rivers such as the Susquehanna and Piscataway should have name changes. Similarly, all Indian named sites and towns should have their names changed lest they offend someone.

And, besides, this would benefit the economy through the making and selling of all those new maps

H. Leroy Whitley Jr.

Forest Hill

Tax cut puts money in consumers' hands

The writer of one of the letters titled "'Voodoo' budget imperils retirement income of the poor" (Sept. 2) called for repealing the tax cut and impeaching President Bush.

But, setting aside all boring details about the non-existent Social Security trust fund, here is a quick lesson about how tax cuts affect tax receipts.

I will use my $300 rebate to defray the cost of a new kitchen floor. This will employ a contractor and the material will be purchased from a Maryland retailer.

These companies will turn around and use my money to make other purchases and in the process will pay Social Security taxes Tax receipts will increase, everybody will be happy and the beat will go on.

More money in the hands of consumers is good for everyone - business, government and citizens alike.

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