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Give proper credit for statue of Thurgood Marshall outside the State House | READER COMMENTARY

The construction at Lawyers Mall to replace underground utilities is nearing completion. Rallies and news conferences will return to the mall during the upcoming session. November 16, 2020.
The construction at Lawyers Mall to replace underground utilities is nearing completion. Rallies and news conferences will return to the mall during the upcoming session. November 16, 2020. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

The statue of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Lawyers Mall was Del. Howard “Pete” Rawlings’ idea (”Lawyers Mall, Maryland capital’s First Amendment gathering space, to reopen after two years of repairs,” Nov. 27). As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, he did not need to introduce a bond bill. He persuaded then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer to create a commission to study the idea.

As a lawyer, Thurgood Marshall argued cases in the Court of Appeals building when it was adjacent to the site. Several of his clients were appealing death sentences. Another client, Donald Gaines Murray, won the case that integrated the University of Maryland Law School.

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There is a statue of Murray on Lawyers Mall, as there is of the school children in Brown v. Board of Education which Mr. Marshall had argued.

I met Mr. Murray when I worked at WJZ-TV and produced a show on the 25th anniversary of the Brown decision. He and I had something in common. We both graduated from Amherst College. I am reminded of that every time I pass his statue on my way to and from the State House.

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Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, Baltimore

The writer, a Democrat, represents District 41 (Baltimore City) in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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