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'Proper Role as a Judge'

August 13, 1985

To me, a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Law, Class of 1948, it is sad and sickening to read Moore's article (July 31).

Moore says nothing about prosecutorial misconduct or lower court error resulting in the chief justice's decisions. The California Constitution provides for a given number of justices (7), with no allowance for "extra" law school professor "second-guessers." The only "second-guessers" allowed are members of the U.S. Supreme Court, who sit in Washington. Any and all non-executions and "death penalty" cases are finally determined by the U.S. Supreme Court. (The federal government has no allowances in its statutes for a California-type death penalty.)

How in the world can one justice (out of 7, with a majority of 4 controlling) of the California Supreme Court prevent anyone from being put to the death sentence penalty? Moore should spend more time researching the issue of incompetent prosecutors, judges, (many former DAs) and justices, than stating that a highly competent chief justice has "taken law into her own hands." The "Robert Kingsley Professor" has done a disservice to my law school professor, Dean Kingsley.

DAVID M. HARNEY

Los Angeles

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