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The Victim in Central Park

The gang rape in Central Park is one of those unspeakably vicious crimes that traumatizes the entire country.

The other morning, Donald Trump bought full-page ads in New York's newspapers calling for a renewal of the death penalty there.

The New York Post keeps referring to it as the nightmare rape by a teen wolf pack that admits it was having "fun." It's been the subject of radio and television talk shows since it happened.

What about the victim?
She was 28 years old, single and lived in an apartment not far from Central Park. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College. She never received a grade under A-minus. She also worked with the poor.

From a sense of social obligation, she went to Africa to work for the Department of State after graduation.

Later, she attended Yale, earning postgraduate degrees in both business and international relations.

She became an investment banker who studied the assets of oil companies. In the past few months she'd traveled to Houston, Boston, Chicago and to offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Her workday on Wall Street began at 7:30 a.m. and she got home to her apartment by 8:30 in the evening.

It was then that she would unwind by taking a run of four to six miles in Central Park.

Her friends say she loved the challenge of living in New York City. And now she lies in a coma. Doctors offer no hope for a full recovery.

It's a tragic, frightening story. But there is something else.
It's cheap and cynical for Donald Trump's publicity men to pounce on this. They mistakenly think it makes their boss appear to have human feelings.

We all know better. A call for the death penalty doesn't solve anything. It merely raises the level of tension.

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Tom Fitzpatrick