Moratorium on executions is justice denied Shame on the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 14, 2002

Moratorium on executions is justice denied

Shame on the governor for tinkering with justice ("Glendening halts executions," May 10).

Those on death row have been proved guilty and have been given ample opportunity to appeal their sentences.

Now the governor single-handedly disrupts the judicial process by not allowing the death penalty to be carried out. Does he not have confidence in the judicial process constructed and accepted by the people of Maryland?

This is another symptom of why the murder rate won't decrease in Baltimore: Too many people in power want to water down the laws.

Democracy has had a terrible setback in Maryland.

Dan Plichta

Lakewood, Calif.

The writer is a former Baltimorean now in California.

While giving convicted killers another lease on life, Gov. Parris N. Glendening stated that "the most difficult decision that a governor must make is to determine whether or not the state should impose the death penalty."

I was not aware that this was his job. I thought that was the decision of the voters, and that the governor's job was to enact the will of the people.

Once again, Mr. Glendening has failed to do so -- and afforded killers a luxury their victims will not know.

Calvin Jefferson

Towson

Gov. Parris N. Glendening's decision to delay the execution of Wesley Eugene Baker -- who brutally executed Jane Tyson as her two grandchildren watched after robbing of her of $10 -- has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with politics.

Richard Thompson

Catonsville

Does the moratorium on the death penalty imposed by the governor also apply to criminals' execution of innocent civilians?

David Chandler

Columbia

Let's hope the criminals of Baltimore also take part in a moratorium.

Kenneth E. Iman

Baltimore

Halting the execution of Wesley Baker is a slap in the face to Jane Tyson's family.

Nobody who murders a grandmother in front of her grandchildren deserves to walk on this planet.

Michael DeCicco

Severn

Gov. Parris N. Glendening is shamefully playing the race card in issuing a stay in executions in Maryland.

There is not one ounce of proof that executions in Maryland are racially biased and he knows it. The governor is just playing to his liberal constituency, which uses the race card at every turn just to make political points.

Chris Krieg

Baltimore

As a resident of Baltimore, I am appalled by the death penalty moratorium. What an insult to our judicial system.

In all of his political maneuvering, Gov. Parris Glendening has shown absolutely no regard for the victims.

Katherine M. Creager

Baltimore

Where was Gov. Parris N. Glendening when the execution of Jane Tyson needed to be halted?

MaryLee A. Stritch

Abingdon

Prosecutor's policy protects Balto. Co.

The Sun's article "Stay on executions puts national focus on Balto. County" (May 11) notes that "[Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra A.] O'Connor's policy [of seeking the death penalty wherever possible] strikes fear in suspects -- and their attorneys -- when it comes time for a trial, defense attorneys said."

So tell me again how the death penalty is not a deterrent? If defendants and their attorneys would "rather be in any [other] county anywhere in the state when it comes to the decision process on the death penalty," as one attorney was quoted as saying, will not a criminal think twice before committing such a crime in Baltimore County?

And when the death penalty is applied consistently in all cases, as Ms. O'Connor does, it is not racist.

If other jurisdictions had the resolve to follow Ms. O'Connor's lead, the statistics regarding those on death row would not be so skewed.

D. Keith Henderson

Perry Hall

As long as the Maryland legislature and the people of this state believe enough in the death penalty for it to be the law, leaders such as Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra O'Connor will seek justice and use it for those horrible enough to deserve it.

She has earned the admiration of both white and black citizens of the county.

Wendy Estano

Baltimore

Studies reveal bias in death penalty

Although I empathize with the pain and agony suffered by the loved ones of Jane Tyson, I disagree with the assessment of Karen Sulewski on the application of the death penalty in Maryland ("Daughter of 1991 murder victim seeks meeting with Glendening," May 10).

Ms. Sulewski's opinion is understandable for someone whose family has lost someone. But it is also typical of those of people unfamiliar with the evidence of racial bias in the death penalty.

However, 82 percent of all studies reviewed by the U.S. General Accounting Office found that the race of a victim influenced the accused's chances of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty.

Jonathan R. Burrs

Baltimore

Dixon would build on city's successes

Although Mayor Martin O'Malley has yet to declare his candidacy for governor, I am responding to the hypothetical scenarios in The Sun's editorial regarding my intentions ("O'Malley's choice," May 9).

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