Child killers got off lightly for a heinous crime

April 01, 2013

I assumed that finding Policarpio Perez and Adan Canela guilty of the murders of their young relatives would be a slam dunk ("Split verdict in child killings," March 27).

After all, the prosecution had the blood of the victims on both of the defendants' jeans as well as a pair of gloves and shoes belonging to the suspects with the victims' blood. What could be more compelling than the blood of the victims on clothing with the suspects' DNA?

Thus I was flabbergasted when the judge ruled most of the blood evidence inadmissible. Perhaps Judge M. Brooke Murdock does not believe that the lives of children in a family of illegal immigrants count.

Maybe she believes that it is simpler to have Mr. Perez, himself an illegal immigrant, acquitted and deported. Or maybe she does not believe in forensic evidence such as DNA and fingerprints. She also excluded witness testimony. The police and prosecutors were lucky to get a conviction at all.

The optimistic prosecution team said afterward that Mr. Perez could get life in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit murder. I hope they aren't holding their breath. I fear Judge Murdock will hand out a slap on the wrist.

Laurin Motsay, Baltimore

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