Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five



From: Elizabeth Barger

Severna Park

The letter from James Riley attacking Del. (Charles W.) Kolodziejski and Sen. (Philip C.) Jimeno for introducing and supporting a billto make duckpin bowling the state sport was way off the mark.

Riley scoffs at them when in fact he should be applauding, for they wereresponsive to constituents and responding to requests they had received.

Currently jousting (yes, jousting) is the state sport -- an elitist activity in which only a handful participate. We duckpin bowlers feel that our sport, which originated in Maryland and which is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands from all walks of life, young and old alike, has a stronger claim to be the official state sport.

That's why we asked our elected representatives for their help, and I am happy to say they quickly pledged their support. In the short time sincethe bill was introduced, more than 20,000 duckpin bowlers have signed petitions asking the legislature to approve it. This proves that many more are involved with this effort than just a few enthusiasts. Wethank Senator Jimeno and Delegate Kolodziejski for recognizing the merit of our claim and being prepared to support us.


From: Bartram Shaeffer

Gibson Island

A grand jury is a jury made up of 23 people. Its purpose is to decide whether there is enough evidence to suppose a person might have committed a crime. If the jury decides there is enough evidence, and they think that a trial is justified, they can indict that person.

The question has surfaced in the past, among jurors who have sat on the grand jury, about the usage and need for this grand jury system. Whether or not the system is really necessary seems to be the thought on the juror's mind.

This question shouldn't have been brought up. The juror's complaint is that almost all of the cases brought before them clearly had sufficient evidence to indict. This made their job as a grand juror seem useless. These people are, however, overlooking the other many important reasons for keeping the grand jury as a part of our judicial system.

One of the most important reasons is that the inquiry of indictment by the grand jury prevents unfair, quick, inadequate trials. By doing this, the grand jury becomes one of the protections we have today against judicial tyranny, and that is too important a thing to pass up.

Another beneficial reason from keeping the grand jury is that the members of the jury get to give their opinion on whether they think the local government is doing their job well.

This creates a nice check-and-balance that we have on the executive branch of our government. The grand jury also weeds out all the trials that don't have enough evidence. This greatly reduces the load on the court system.The grand jury has subpoena power, and it can also add charges in cases where it feels the police have not charged enough.

The idea has recently been installed to limit the use of the grand jury to two times a month. This will probably lead to its extinction. And the state's attorney is going to use more "informations," which is another way, other than indictments by the grand jury, to bring people to trialin Maryland.

The only problem with "informations" is that the state's attorney files the charges himself. This takes away from the whole meaning behind the grand jury and from having the right for an indictment before a trial.

There is just not enough of an argument against the system to overcome all the positive reasons there are for keeping a grand jury.

Taking away the grand jury would hurt the public much more than it would help. Let's protect the system that protects us and not try to fix something that was never broken.


From: Jane A. Bagwell


As an admirer of John Leopold, I was pleased to read the article about the former state delegate in last Sunday's Anne Arundel County Sun.

The article mentioned "his maverick image within the GOP," but that allegation is more a creation of his political adversaries than reality. While Johncertainly is an independent thinker with a mind of his own, he has been in the mainstream of the Republican Party for over 25 years. He has trained Republican candidates for the state and local office all over the state and has been elected a delegate to the last four Republican National conventions, serving on the Convention Platform Committee twice.

Moreover, John has been appointed to federal commissionsby the last three Republican presidents, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush. You can't get more mainstream Republican than that.


From: William E. Breen


I enjoyed the recent article regarding John Leopold ("Sights set on '94,Leopold gets early start on legwork," Anne Arundel County Sun, Jan. 26, 1992), especially since he stopped by my house a few weeks ago. Ihave followed his political career during the past few years and have been impressed with his sincerity, his intelligence and his willingness to listen.

It seems clear that John will continue to face opposition from those who benefit from the status quo, but I hope he stands his ground, because we need his talents and energy working for usin public life.

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