Crack Down On Repeat Offenders
Hardly a day goes by that the news media does not have some new horrifying violent crime to report. . . . We have become so accustomed to the carnage that only the most revolting crimes receive major coverage.
. . . I note that one factor is nearly always present. The perpetrators have extensive records of previous criminal behavior with numerous arrests and several convictions for serious acts of violence. Furthermore, if the lawbreakers had still been appropriately incarcerated for their last conviction, they could not have killed, raped or assaulted their latest victims.
Syndicated columnist Allan C. Brownfeld recently wrote that in a much publicized case two 18-year-olds were charged in the death of the father of basketball star Michael Jordan. Both had significant police records. One suspect, three years earlier, had taken an ax to the head of a classmate. The boy he assaulted spent a year in the hospital and months in a coma. For this assault, he was sentenced to six years and released after serving only two. Two months after his release, Michael Jordan's father was dead.
Criminologist Marvin Wolfgang of the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study of arrest records of male criminals born and raised in Philadelphia. He found that while violent offenders received an average sentence of seven years and 11 months, they only served an average of two years and 11 months or 37 percent of their sentences. He also found that violent criminals served an average of 5.5 years for murder, 3 years for rape and 2.25 years for robbery. Wolfgang also noted that just 7 percent of those in his study committed two-thirds of all of the violent crime. . . . I believe that the time has come for society to change its focus from restricting the access of law-abiding citizens to firearms to restricting the access of society's professional criminal class to its victims.
Charles R. Serio
The "Friends of A. Shirley Murphy" would like to take this opportunity to thank all of her friends, family and supporters for making her first fund-raiser a successful one. . . .
The writer is chairman of the 3rd District Anne Arundel County Council campaign of A. Shirley Murphy.
The NFL Insulted Baltimore, And It Must Be Made To Pay
Since the National Football League has turned its back on Baltimore and done a pretty good job on insulting the community, we should halt all efforts to entice an existing team to move here.
Instead, keep Memorial Stadium in good repair. Make it available to college and high school teams. If professional teams come looking such as the Patriots, Rams, Raiders, Bengals or Buccaneers, fine. Memorial Stadium is available, to be rented for a yearly fee payable in advance. The city will operate the %J concessions, maintain the grass field and maintain the seating.
There will be no tax break, no guarantee to build a new super stadium. Memorial Stadium is there and is in good shape. Some team will come in to use the facility -- the demographics of the area are too good to pass up. The NFL will wake up that Baltimore is not Washington.
Sit tight. Don't run around making pitches for an existing team. Should a team come up for sale (a possibility) make an offer as a community -- be another Green Bay, owned by the community.
Edward S. Gallagher
It is obvious that the owners and their arrogant leader, Paul Tagliabue, have declared that Baltimore will never get a franchise. This is not the end of the world and we can proceed quite well with our lives. However, the abject arrogance of Mr. T and those paragons of moral rectitude, Jack Kent Cooke et al, should not be ignored without some meaningful and appropriate response.
There is one very simple solution. As money seems to be Mr. T's main criteria and his judgment better than any meaningful package of demographic and economic presentation, let's declare in Maryland and in particular the Baltimore metro area, Super Bowl Week as Mr. T week. Between now and the Super Bowl, keep track of all of the advertisers of NFL games.
Are you getting the picture? During Super T week, we simply do not buy those brands of products. If we buy beer, it is not one who has advertised. We view the Super Bowl game with pencils sharp. We add to the ratings by watching but with a new twist, a negative one. The next week we do the same purchase routine, we do not buy from anyone who advertises during that game.
This way we can still watch the sport but impact on those who suggest we build a museum. I am aware that vis a vis the national picture, we will not make a large dent. However, a precedent for a response to the Tagliabue arrogance will be set. . . .
A. J. Wagner