Let’s hope compromise
can be reached on
Corridor H issue

    Word that Gov. Cecil Underwood and his administration are willing to work with the group Corridor H Alternatives to find a less damaging way to complete Corridor H is great news for all of us in Central West Virginia.
    The long-awaited highway has been stalled since the issue became tied up in a lengthy court battle. In February, a federal appeals court said the state hadn’t considered ways to avoid or lessen possible damage to two historic locations — Corricks Ford Civil War site near Parsons and the Battle of Moorefield site in Hardy County.
    Now, the two sides see the value of compromise. The state will “explore the possibility of changes in the Corridor H project that could avoid, reduce or mitigate impacts on historic properties,” Transportation Secretary Sam Bonasso told the Charleston Gazette.
 Corridor H Alternatives will no longer attempt to block the construction of the Northern Elkins Bypass section while working with the state to find the best way to complete the final 100-mile segment from Elkins to the Virginia state line.
Hugh Rogers, spokesman for Corridor H Alternatives, said the group has always known the four-lane bypass around Elkins was important. He said the group is looking forward to working with the state to find solutions to complete the project.
 “We are happy to be cooperating with (the state) to build roads where they are needed, and we are looking forward to further discussions about ways to solve our transportation problems without harming our special places,” Rogers said.
“It’s a lot cheaper for everyone involved if we can do this without more litigation. I hope we can find some compromises,” Rogers said.
We’re all counting on it.

Today’s editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.

Dr. Death verdict of
second-degree murder
was appropriate one

    Assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian faces an April 14 sentencing date after being found guilty of second-degree murder. He had invited a murder prosecution by injecting lethal drugs into a man on camera and having the videotape aired on natural television. We are comfortable with the jury’s verdict.
    This was not the classic murder case by any means. It was not a situation where a person takes another’s life for reasons of revenge, robbery or the usual motives. Kevorkian continually maintained that the death of 52-year-old Thomas Youk was an act of compassion rather than an act of murder. But we are still comfortable with the verdict.
    We do not believe for a minute that any malice was involved in the death. In fact, Youk’s wife had hoped to testify on Kevorkian’s behalf. She knew Kevorkian’s intent was just to end her husband’s pain. But we continue to be comfortable with the verdict — comfortable because there is most definitely another side of the story.
    Even by the doctor’s own count, he has assisted in 130 suicides over a span of nine years, most of them described as crude events that took place in such places as motel rooms, with the bodies left for pickup or dropped off at emergency rooms. Still, juries simply would not punish him for his actions.
    Despite the fact that Kevorkian claimed he assisted with the suicide — to put an end to Youk’s suffering from “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” — the high-profile Michigan doctor is not God. A life is between a person and his or her Creator.
    To us, there may be a fine line between providing someone a means to end his or her own life and actually ending it for that person. But there is a division nevertheless. Perhaps the “victim” did want to die and the killer possessed higher ideals than most murderers are known for having.
    Maybe you support assisted suicide. Perhaps you call it euthanasia. After all, that does have a better sound to it. But the bottom line remains: we are still talking homicide here.
    Only when those who suffer are acting of their own free will, having been counseled as to the alternatives yet following through, albeit exclusively as a last resort — it is only then that assisted suicide should be even so much as contemplated. And then it should be in accordance with guidelines of the strictest medical and legal ethics.
    Dr. Jack Kevorkian received a just sentence, we feel. The jury was not cruel. His action led to the death of a human being, even though that person requested his assistance. By having it videotaped and aired on national television, to us it was as if he was boasting of the act. This hardly fits our idea of true compassion.
    Maybe not “murder one,” but the second-degree murder conviction seems appropriate, when you really think about it.
Robert F. Stealey
Telegram editorial page chairman


Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999