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Capture of Ramirez

September 09, 1985

The beating Ramirez received at the hands of angry citizens was the only punishment he'll ever get for his crimes. From here on out, it's all roses.

First, there will be a long and costly trial. After he's convicted (in spite of the experts mobilized to defend him), he'll be housed in clean private quarters, kept in idleness, and fed and clothed at state expense. His teeth will be fixed. His health, both physical and mental, will be checked periodically and treated, all by the state. Psychiatrists may certify him insane and transfer him to a nicer room at the hospital.

Years of appeals will follow, conducted by armies of lawyers. He'll make repeated applications for parole, requiring endless hearings.

While all this is going on, his "rights" will be jealously guarded by a host of do-gooders, eager to spot the slightest infringement.

If he discovers he's been "born again," he'll attract another host of well-wishers, clamoring for clemency and release. Assorted weirdos and wackos will offer support and sympathy.

What about the families of his victims? They'll grow gray praying for a swift, clean stroke of justice, hoping and waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

WARREN BUELL

Los Angeles

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