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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Gory Prince George's: Politicians seem to favor killers over victims

(Posted 30 Jan 2007)

Why do so many of our elected officials seem so much more concerned with preventing the execution of killers than with preventing the execution of innocent victims?

I have been closely following murders in Prince George's County for over three years now, and have posted online basic details and news links for over 450 Prince George's County homicides, including many never reported by the news media.

For over two years I have tried to relate both homicide locations and victim's residences to the districts of our elected County Council and General Assembly members, and have generally e-mailed information about the homicides to those members.

While reviewing news reports of homicides, I have made a special effort to search out the reactions of our elected officials.

During the years I have been doing this, I have learned that our elected officials almost never respond publicly to homicide reports, either in the press or in response to my e-mails (where the response rate is about 2%), and very rarely respond publicly to our homicide problem, which is one of the worst in the nation.

Over 450 victims executed, and almost no public response from our General Assembly members.

Yet many of those members are sponsoring and publicly supporting efforts to repeal the death penalty and protect the killers--people who have executed others--from execution.

I have mixed feeling about the death penalty, and the way it is carried out,

But I do feel strongly that it should be more important for our officials to spend time and energy trying to save the one hundred to two hundred innocents likely to be executed without trial this year than to save half-a-dozen convicted killers who had their trials.

Why are our elected officials devoting so much effort to saving so few killers and so little effort to saving so many victims? What are their priorities? Whose side are they on? Apparently the killers' side.

Prince George's sponsors of House Bill 225:

Joanne C. Benson (24), Tawanna P. Gaines (22), Anne Healey (22), Marvin E. Holmes, Jr. (23B), Carolyn J. B. Howard (24), James W. Hubbard (23A), Doyle L. Niemann (47), Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (21), James E. Proctor, Jr. (27A), Michael L. Vaughn (24)

Prince George's sponsors of Senate Bill 211:

Gwendolyn T. Britt (47), Nathaniel Exum (24), C. Anthony Muse (26), Douglas J. J. Peters (23), Paul G. Pinsky (22).

Note that all members from District 24 are listed above. In 2006, District 24 accounted for far more homicides and victims than any other district in the county--almost a third of the county's total in this one gory district out of eight.

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