Where is the justice for crime victims?
You recently reported that Baltimore ranked as the fifth deadliest city with 335 homicides.
With this escalating level of violence, one would think law enforcement officials would be hard at work developing strategies to combat it.
So when U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis suggested in a recent Evening Sun article that he might visit the gas chamber at the Maryland Penitentiary, it seemed logical that perhaps his interest would be to make it more efficient so that more convicted murderers could be quickly dispatched to free up room at this overcrowded facility.
Unfortunately, Judge Garbis' concern was over convicted murderer John Thanos.
He has ruled that Thanos' execution should be videotaped and his brain waves monitored to help determine if death by gas is cruel and unusual.
If Judge Garbis is so concerned about pain, he should meet the relatives of the three teen-agers Thanos confessed to murdering.
The victims cannot speak of the pain they endured but the relatives will live with it for the rest of their lives.
The standards for police are discussed frequently in your paper but one reads very little about the qualifications for judges.
Before Maryland's U.S. senators recommend anyone else for a lifetime federal judgeship, they should ask applicants if they are prepared to represent the interests of the law-abiding citizens of Maryland -- or the vile murders and other criminals who are rampaging unchecked in our communities.
Thomas J. Rostkowski
Two Mike Royko poems that humorously described the incident in which a Virginia woman who cut off her husband's penis are excellent examples of our nation's desensitization. The poems, which ran in The Evening Sun Nov. 12 and 15, poke fun at the oddity of the situation, yet ignore the fact that a woman may have been sexually abused. As a result, her husband was sexually mutilated.
Why would anyone laugh at a poem that makes light of a situation such as this, yet would be disturbed if a poem were written that did the same for the recent sexual mutilations of horses in Maryland.
A situation which makes nearly every man squirm would have given the perfect opportunity to illustrate the injustice of rape. Instead, a mockery was made of the incident.
Readers of The Sun as well as The Evening Sun should use insight to see how focusing solely on uncompassionate "humor" may ruin opportunities to educate ourselves and others.
Anthony W. Solomon
The sound of music
A chapter from "Mass Media" by George Rodman on radio and recorded music stated that radio and the music industry play a major role in society today. People all over the world in "our age group," the youth of the world, listen to the radio perhaps more than they watch television. Although many modern songs like "Do Me" and "Me So Horny" contain grossly sexual lyrics, most music listeners take them simply for what they are -- only songs.
However, our society has to look at the music industry in a more careful fashion. If you listen to the lyrics, most of the songs played today are about "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll." What would happen if certain popular songs were banned because they suggested degradation in our society? People would be devastated, angry and would cry out "Censorship!"
Censorship is definitely not the answer. Most teen-agers are fond of the music because they like the way it sounds. They are exposed on the news to tragedies of drugs, sex and devaluation every single day. Why can they not hear it in their music? The majority of teens, I contend, do not prefer music by Bach and Beethoven. Teen-agers cannot be blamed or punished for disliking classical music. Today they are simply not being exposed to it as often as they are to popular music.
Radio and recorded music continue to be a heated issue in America. My grandparents didn't approve of my parents' listening to Elvis Presley any more than my parents approve of my listening to Axl Rose. I am under 18, an independent thinker and a moral individual. Should I not have the right to choose the music I listen to?
Patrick F. Bergin
It is beyond belief that Mayor Kurt Schmoke could select a person such as Eric Brown to be deputy executive director of the city housing authority.
Heaven help us if this is the best Baltimore can do.
John C. Zaruba
A team of our own
On that blustery, snowy night 10 years ago, I sat glued in front of the television watching the Colts gallop out of town with the help of Mayflower.
Ever since that moment, William Donald Schaefer and his team have tried to bring football back home.
Two years ago, when the expansion process started with the NFL, the governor, Herb Belgrad and local business people stepped forward to finance efforts to bring football back to Maryland.
There is no question now that the greatest game ever played was not the 1958 game against the Giants, but the game run by the NFL on our city.
Instead of kissing up to the NFL, the cities that wanted expansion teams should explore setting up their own league. They have media markets, fans, facilities and the burning desire to succeed.
When the NFL was formed and it had 12 teams, people took a wait and see attitude. The same thing happened when the AFL was formed.
It's time to go on the offense. The cities could put together a league that would truly be football for the fans at affordable prices. Working together anything is possible.
Stuart Jay Robinson
Let's bring NFL Football to Maryland by encouraging the Washington Redskins to relocate here. Let's cooperate with the Redskin ownership.
Wouldn't it be great if Maryland, in cooperation with the Redskin ownership, put together a financial package to build a retractable dome stadium with natural turf between Washington and Baltimore? This would bring jobs to Maryland.
A retractable dome stadium would offer all types of income possibilities for the state, such as the Super Bowl and Army-Navy games.
If our market is large enough to support two NFL teams, maybe someday a second NFL team could play at this new retractable dome stadium, like the Giants and the Jets do at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
Let Governor William Donald Schaefer be the governor of Maryland and not just the governor of Baltimore. We need NFL football in Maryland.
George L. Rooker