Why do judges let repeat criminals go?

April 06, 2010

The article in the Baltimore Sun of April 5 ("Disorder in the court") criticized six judges for misconduct. About a quarter of the story (which took up half a page with a photo of Judge Darrell Russell) had to do with Judge Russell's performing a marriage between an woman and a man who had been accused of abusing her. The offenses of these six judges seem to me to be pretty small beer.

In a story of March 20 ("Police say man woke up to a gun in his face"), the contrast between The Sun's treatment of these six judges and the unnamed judge (or judges) who consistently reduced Marvin Cook Jr.'s sentences over a period of 10 years is startling. The judges who turned loose a convicted killer after reducing a 25-year sentence to 5-1/2 and then, apparently, did nothing after he was charged with violating his probation in 2008 and 2009, should be identified and their decisions scrutinized. The subhead in your own story notes that Mr. Cook had an "extensive prison record" — why should it take a near tragedy for the judiciary in this state to act to protect us?

Instead of more stories like that of April 5, The Sun ought to expose the judges who turn these convicted felons loose to prey upon the public.

John Hamlin, Annapolis

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