December 6, 2013
Kweisi Mfume was a Baltimore city councilman when he received what would be the first of many words of wisdom from Nelson Mandela. "Do not give up," Mfume said Mandela wrote him from prison, where he had somehow read about the councilman's efforts in the 1980s to get the city to divest from companies that did business with the apartheid government of South Africa. The two had never met, although Mfume had been agitating for his release since his student days at Morgan State University.
August 14, 2013
So U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is going to let out elderly prisoners who were supposed to be serving life sentences for capital crimes such as murder ("U.S. plans drugs shift," Aug. 12). I guess we were snookered again when we traded capital punishment for life in prison for crimes of murder. What has happened is that the convicted murderers have been cared for better than anyone on the outside. Prison officials have come to the realization that more and more murderers are living long healthy lives behind bars and that so many have and are going to accumulate that we will end up having state and federal "Long Term Health Care Prisons," or "Assisted Living Prisons" for a growing population of old murderers.
June 20, 2013
I just read a letter from a reader who is whining about the lack of a death penalty as punishment for the man who allegedly raped and murdered Kami King ("Cecil girl's murder shows error of Md.'s decision to abolish capital punishment," June 17), and I couldn't help thinking about Kirk Bloodsworth, the man who was convicted of a similar crime and who spent years on death row before it finally came out that he was not responsible at all, someone else was. Just think, if the state had carried out their unfair and arbitrary death sentence, an innocent man would have been murdered by our state - and by extension, by all of us citizens of Maryland.
June 19, 2013
If ever a case screams out for capital punishment, it is the torture, rape, and murder of a 10-year-old girl ("New details emerge in killing of Cecil Co. girl," June 15). But oh, no, capital punishment is "cruel and unusual," as our royalty in Annapolis have decided for us. It is no longer available even for such situations as the murder of Kami Ring. I wonder what she would say about "cruel and unusual?" Is it a deterrent? Yes, that blob of protoplasm would never murder again. Is it in the public interest?
June 18, 2013
All you folks out there who were celebrating the repeal of Maryland's death penalty, rejoice. A 29-year-old Cecil County man has been charged in the rape and murder of 10 year old Kami Ring of Charlestown ("Man Charged in Killing of Girl, 10," June 14). The worst punishment in the great state of Maryland this animal can receive is life without parole. If convicted, we taxpayers get to provide his room, board and medical care for the rest of his life (maybe the next 40 or 60 years). Brian Spector, Easton
June 2, 2013
The death penalty debate in Maryland is finally over. This spring's decision by the General Assembly to replace the death penalty with life without parole was cemented last week, when right-wing activists failed to muster enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot. We, the people of Maryland, have sent a clear and firm message: capital punishment belongs in our past, not our future. In doing so, we have joined New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois and Connecticut as the sixth state in six years and 18th in the nation to abolish the death penalty.