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“Alleged Killer, Proven Killer” (11/22) isn’t a terrible bit of reporting once you get past the smarminess, veiled insults, and condescending tone, which made it barely readable. The worst part is the title, which suggests that Paul Ebert and the D.C. snipers are killers on the same moral plane. Simply abhorrent, and the worst form of moral equivalence. Referring to Ebert as a “cold-blooded killer” was a below-the-belt potshot, not to mention all the other little digs and derogatory comments.
Ebert wasn’t the one who lurked around the D.C. area randomly killing men, women, and children. Prosecuting these terrorists (yes, their acts constituted terrorism) to the full extent of the law is Ebert’s job and, to judge from his record, has been done well. Sounds as if the residents of Prince William County and the victims’ families are glad Ebert’s there. Bully for him.
The death penalty has been upheld by the Supreme Court for 26 years. If you want to assign responsibility, blame the U.S. Constitution and the 1976 court that correctly interpreted this document. Writing borderline hit pieces against people who are effective at administering settled law comes across as a form of whining and sour grapes.
Although less salacious, a truer title would be “Alleged Mass Murders, Proven Prosecutor.”