Delay execution regulations
While we failed this year to repeal Maryland's violation of the Constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, we will be back. The Baltimore Sun's admirable stance over the years against the death penalty has always been appreciated.
Yet I am baffled by the editorial "A dishonest delay" (June 26). The writer seems confused: "legislators shouldn't drag out approvals of execution regulations to maintain a moratorium; the governor should commute death sentences instead."
Yes, the governor should commute the sentences of those on Maryland's death row. But we the people should be able to participate in the process of establishing the protocols for lethal injection. I want to testify in an open hearing that our government cannot justify that lethal injection is a humane process. Lethal injection, like firing squads, hangings and electric chairs, should be placed in a dustbin labeled cruel jokes.
Because of the federal case mounted by lawyers trying to prevent the execution of Vernon Evans, we discovered that the Department of Corrections has assembled two execution teams. We also discovered that the teams are unqualified to insert needles properly.
So we must delay the implementation of lethal injection protocols so that the public can participate in the process. And I expect the members of the execution teams to testify in public as to why they support such an inhumane process.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
AMA supports health reform
It's disappointing that critics mischaracterize the American Medical Association and our solid commitment to achieving health reform this year ("Under the influence," June 26).
As the nation's largest physician organization, we have made it perfectly clear that we are committed to ensuring all Americans have affordable, high-quality health coverage this year.
The AMA will stay constructively engaged in discussions and open to health reform proposals that are consistent with the principles of pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice and universal access for patients.
AMA physicians are integral to health reform, and poll after poll shows that the American people trust physicians to do the right thing on reform as well. America's patients can count on the AMA to work toward passage of a bill this year to ensure all Americans have health-care coverage.
Dr. Rebecca J. Patchin, ChicagoThe writer is chair of the American Medical Association.
Jackson was a major figure
In response to Patricia Schenk's letter concerning Michael Jackson's coverage in the Sunpaper (Readers respond, June 28), I think that she hasn't considered all the facts.
While I enjoyed watching Charlie's Angels, and I thought that Farrah Fawcett's poster was hot for its time, she was mostly a sex symbol. I sympathized with her struggle with cancer, but she was way of out the league when it comes to Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson was a singer, a songwriter, a dancer, a performer. His album Thriller is still the best-selling album of all time. He has given money to charities and entertained children at his ranch. Yet when it came to his personal life off the stage, it seemed he had very low self esteem.
Michael's music got MTV to start playing black artists' music. He was indeed an important national figure who led a tragic off-stage life.
Joseph Kortash, Catonsville
Where's the rest of the news?
I am willing to concede that Michael Jackson was an iconic entertainer to many people. However, I find that the news coverage of his death has gone beyond anything reasonable.
For 48 hours-plus the public had little news of the turmoil in Iran and the impending health care issues, not to mention the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives chose to have a moment of silence in his memory. I find this reprehensible. Where are our elected officials' priorities?
Obama's free ride
Paul West had a page two article last week in which he includes President Obama's comment that his daughter is flying in folks for her birthday pool party ("Obama loves Camp David, but daughters' schedules come 1st," June 25). Wow, since it says that it is the daughter who is flying her friends in, she must get one whopping allowance.
It really is a shame, however, that this didn't happen during the Bush administration. That way Mr. West would have had a front page article. You know, with a headline something like this: "Despite recession, Bush flies in daughter's friends for lavish party."
Kenneth E. Gingery Jr., Millsboro, Del.
How did Marylanders vote?
Your article, "House narrowly OKs energy-climate measure" (June 27) makes no mention of how the Maryland delegation voted on this important matter.
I think most readers want to know how their representatives voted.
I got the broad picture on the Friday night TV news; I read a newspaper for more complete and detailed information.
You let your readers down with your strictly national, generalized report.
Ted Bedford, Towson