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Not Much Sympathy For Maryland

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To be honest, we haven't paid too much attention to the situation in College Park. As you probably know by now, a Maryland student was beaten by the police who were monitoring the promised riot after Maryland's win over Duke.

As you probably also know, Maryland students habitually riot after big basketball games. The tradition is to rush out on U.S. 1, forcibly close it down, and let anarchy ensue.

In the past, they have burned buildings, destroyed cars, even a facility owned by Comcast not long after Comcast bought the naming rights to their new stadium.

So while we certainly have no patience with police beating people, we also have no patience for the idiots at Maryland who mistake a riot for a party.

Try as we might, we have little sympathy for anyone who deliberately goes to a riot even if they don't plan to actively participate in the destruction and anarchy themselves. Ask the people who live nearby, who may have seen their windows broken, their cars destroyed, their children terrified -- ask them if they have any sympathy for this kid. We are pretty sure you'd have to look long and hard to find anyone in the neighborhood who has much sympathy at this point.

Maryland students have been taking the law into their hands for years and now we're supposed to feel sorry for them when the law behaves exactly as they been behaving? Sorry, there's no sympathy here at all for anything that happens in any College Park riot. If the idea is that they should be left alone to destroy the neighborhood and terrorize people, some of whom surely are elderly and infirm, we're not buying it.

Let's consider an interesting possibility here: suppose the charges are pressed and a trial ensues. For that matter, whether it's a civil or criminal trial. It should be held in Prince George County, the very county where Maryland students have felt free to wreak havoc on the lives of people who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. If any this goes to trial, to a jury of one's peers, it may turn out that in this case one's peers may wish to teach a lesson: if you trash our neighborhoods and terrify us, don't count on us to make it right for you.

The legal term for this, more or less, is jury nullification. A less technical term is: you can go straight to hell.

We aren't saying that he deserved to get beaten, but we are saying that given the well-known history of Maryland student riots and that the administration of the University has clearly been intimidated and unwilling to confront this sort of behavior whether in the gym or on the street, and that kid likely went there with the expectation of enjojing anarchic behavior, why should he be surprised -- or even offended -- if that behavior turns on him?

Prosecute the police by all means, but nothing will change until the University take some serious steps to eliminate the sort of hooliganism which occurs with such appalling regularity in College Park.

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