Mayor's tantrum shows no grasp of judges' role The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 31, 2002

Mayor's tantrum shows no grasp of judges' role

The Sun's July 25 article on the mayor's latest tantrum about the judiciary causes me to suggest that perhaps the mayor would benefit from a refresher course in civics ("Mayor scolds judge for bail of $35,000 in boy's shooting").

A judge swears to uphold the law by acting in a neutral manner, not as an advocate for either side. The appointment of a group to monitor judges is a blatant attempt to intimidate the bench and coerce judges into handing out sentences without regard to fairness for both sides ("O'Malley seeks group to monitor courtroom," July 25).

But I have faith that the judiciary will not kowtow to this scare tactic. And District Court Judge George M. Lipman, who set the bail, is known as one of the finest and most fair judges on the court by everyone with the privilege of appearing before him.

The mayor's latest outburst is uncalled for and does nothing to assure the public that its leaders are working together to guarantee public trust in our legal system.

Jack B. Rubin

Baltimore

Judges need to use some common sense

I am outraged regarding the release on bail of Perry Spain by District Court Judge George M. Lipman ("Mayor scolds judge for bail of $35,000 in boy's shooting," July 25).

Mr. Spain has been accused of shooting 10-year-old Tevin Davis.

According to The Sun, Mr. Spain was released because there was no state representation to present evidence in the case. Shame on the Police Department and the state attorney's office, but even more shame on the judge.

There is no reason why Mr. Spain should have been released. And I think there are times when judges need to use a little common sense and think outside the legal box.

God bless the Davis family.

Dean Scannell

White Marsh

I agree completely with Mayor Martin O'Malley's criticism of the judge who set a bail of only $35,000 for a suspect in the shooting of a 10-year-old.

However, the voters of this state should also share the blame. They keep electing liberal Democrats who then appoint liberal judges.

John C. Baker

Ellicott City

Crime follows flight to the suburbs

Certain residents of Owings Mills have decried a recent perceived increase in crime in their community ("Crime leaves residents of Owings Mills uneasy," July 25). Some have even decided to leave the community for safer, "less developed" areas.

But crime seems to follow these transient suburbanites. Unless a new attitude toward community ownership is adopted by the citizens of the Baltimore metropolitan area, I see no reason why a similar story will not soon be reported about Carroll County.

When, and where, will the migration stop?

Christopher Pabst

Baltimore

Police earn respect with their blood

I was saddened to read about the shooting of Officer Christopher Houser ("City teen detained in police shooting," July 22). What made me sadder was the complete lack of anger from the city public that one of its protectors was brazenly gunned down.

City resident Calvin Fisher seemed to sum up the attitude of most of his neighbors when he said that there is little respect for the uniform. "You got to give it to get it," he said.

Well, I suggest that he go down to the police headquarters lobby and look at all the names on the wall.

The city police have earned our respect tenfold. It was bought with their blood.

Sean T. Nevin

Abingdon

Immediate treatment only exit for addicts

The writer of "More jail time isn't preventing repeat offenses" (letters, July 11), which responded to Hal Riedl's "Jail time for drug crime pays off" (Opinion*Commentary, July 2), offered a number of commendable observations but missed the point: A drug abuser who refuses treatment and continues to steal will not be wreaking havoc on his community while he's incarcerated. I'd call this self-evident.

But the real problem is this: Society in general and politicians in particular make a huge mistake in not providing far more programming in prisons and in the community to support those who decide to rid themselves of addiction.

That personal decision, that spark of motivation, cannot abide a long waiting list. It cools off very quickly.

That's why Baltimore Health Commissioner Peter L. Beilenson's idea of "treatment on demand" makes sense.

J. Edward Muhlbach

New Freedom, Pa.

Reclaim regions racked by crime

The Sun's editorial "Justice mocked again" (July 24) suggests that what the city, and especially its children, need is for those officials who are "responsible" to do their jobs.

But there is only so much elected officials and police can do. They can make laws and enforce them, clean the streets and collect the garbage. They cannot change the hearts and habits of the large percentage of the city that is drowning in lethargy and self-pity.

Perhaps with some reason, but with no excuse, many choose to surrender their neighborhoods to drug dealers and hoodlums. It's time for the mothers and fathers of these crime-wracked areas to take back their streets for the sake of their children.

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