Letters To The Editor


January 01, 2004

Malvo verdict offers no reason to bash Ashcroft

The editorial "Justice served" (Dec. 26) regarding the life sentence for Lee Boyd Malvo was just an excuse to take a potshot at U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The Sun faults him for moving the trial to a jurisdiction that would consider the death penalty and then berates him because the jury did not recommend the death penalty for Mr. Malvo.

Wouldn't Mr. Ashcroft have been equally wrong if he had let the trial take place in a jurisdiction that would not consider the death penalty?

Was not justice truly served because the jury could consider such a penalty and come to its own conclusion based on the evidence and the facts of the case?

I was not at the trial. I did not hear the testimony. But I trust the jury system.

Sure, I would not have been upset if the jury had returned a death penalty verdict, but I trust that it would have come to the correct conclusion based on the evidence presented during the trial.

The Sun, on the other hand, obviously with much dislike for Mr. Ashcroft, uses the verdict to vent that dislike and suggest that the verdict was an obvious conclusion. If the jury had returned the death penalty, would The Sun's editorial have then berated the jury along with Mr. Ashcroft?

There are possibly future trials for Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad in other jurisdictions. The people in Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana may have their own opinion about the death penalty, in spite of what The Sun thinks.

Paul S. Zublionis


Cold-blooded youths laugh at lenient laws

A person who is 14, 15, 16 or 17 years of age can commit a cold-blooded murder and not get the death sentence because he or she is a minor ("Justice served," editorial, Dec. 26). Isn't it about time that sentencing guidelines were re-evaluated and made more realistic?

Whether we want to believe it or not, some kids are just plain cold-blooded killers.

They are laughing at the laws that are now in place.

Vince R. Neuheimer


Efforts to stop crime make little headway

It looks as if the strategy put forth by Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark has failed. Baltimore was again among the most violent cities in the United States in 2003. Murder was up from last year and shows no sign of abating. Peace-loving citizens continue to leave the city, and the mayor seems helpless to do anything about it.

What have the mayor, police commissioner and Baltimore City state's attorney done for the citizens to clean up the place? Nothing for the past several years.

Let them try in 2004 to get it right for a change. I am sure most residents are tired of the situation.

John L. Grumbach


Carping at governor won't alter mandate

I have some news for The Sun: Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. won the gubernatorial election last year. Here's another news flash for you: He's not up for re-election until 2006.

The Sun's article "Ehrlich shows a solo style" (Dec. 28) is a prime example of its treatment of the governor. He's too independent. He's not compromising. Doggone him for winning the election.

But Mr. Ehrlich's use of the executive authority granted to him by law is really not that big a deal. And how about a story comparing his personal popularity and the popularity of his agenda with those of the partisan leaders in the General Assembly?

Mr. Ehrlich was elected with a mandate for change. He's following through on that mandate and actually keeping his campaign promises. What a refreshing concept.

To the governor's critics, I say, "Keep on carping."

The contrast is very revealing. The voters will not forget who is enacting a positive vision for change and who is sitting on the sidelines taking potshots at our respected leader.

Michael D. Zimmer


The real reason for war in Iraq?

As a war justifier, Cal Thomas failed to mention in his column "Another victory for Bush" (Opinion

Commentary, Dec. 24) that Saddam Hussein had declared that he had eliminated Iraq's weapons of mass destruction long before Col. Muammar el Kadafi's decision to give up Libya's WMD programs.

Yet President Bush launched the unprovoked, pre-emptive war, inflicting death and injuries on hundreds of thousands of lives, including those of our soldiers. Why?

It makes me wonder if control of the country with one of the world's largest oil reserves was the secret, ultimate motivation for the war, as some of Mr. Bush's critics have suggested.

Hiroshi Shimizu


Editorial board profile omits many concerns

It was interesting to note that The Sun's description of the diversity of its editorial board found it important enough to mention what your grandfathers used to do, without any recognition that you have grandmothers who have also affected your backgrounds ("The making of an opinion," Opinion

Commentary, Dec. 28).

Obviously, The Sun has trivialized the role of women in our lives.

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