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I just finished Eddie Dean’s article on Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert (“Cold-Blooded Killer,” 3/20). I assume it was another of your pitiable attempts to prove how barbaric we are in Virginia.

Dean, however, makes two ridiculous errors: (1) He refers to the “Scottsboro Boys executions.” While the Scottsboro Boys trials rank with the grossest miscarriages of justice in the annals of American jurisprudence, not one of the Boys was executed. Dean’s history grade: F. (2) He compares Prince William’s four murders in 1997 to, among others, Fairfax County’s 16. Yes, 16 is four times four, but Fairfax’s population of 818,000 is almost four times Prince William’s population of 215,000. In other words, the per capita murder rate, a statistic Dean refers to in the very next paragraph of his article, of the two counties is nearly identical. If your goal was to paint Fairfax as a “hotbed of violent crime,” you lose. Dean’s statistics grade: F.

City Paper, get some better writers or stick to writing about the city.

Chantilly, Va.

via the Internet