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'Justice Denied'

March 21, 1986

In all respects I agree with your forceful editorial, in which you champion the cause of giving a suspect his rights, and wherein you write, "The police should be required to bend over backward to ensure that suspects--certainly murder suspects--are treated fairly."

In the years since the Miranda ruling has been in force I have heard the cry from law enforcement people, and from cheap politicians, lamenting that they are being shackled by "court technicalities." Hogwash!

What is so arduous on the part of a policeman in simply informing a suspect that he or she has the right to remain silent and that he or she has the right to consult an attorney. Reading these rights doesn't take 10 seconds and by doing so the cop and the suspect are magically protected.

You will, without question, receive many letters taking issue with your enlightened stand, and the gist of the complaint will be a scream that the rights of victims must be preserved. Any sane person would agree, but what does that have to do with protecting the rights of an individual accused of a crime?

In recent years we have watched the erosion of the rights guaranteed under the 4th Amendment by the use of spurious search and seizure methods; we have been horrified by the wasting away of the "exclusionary rule"; the protections of the First Amendment are being compromised and circumvented, and now comes the U.S. Supreme Court and deals a body blow to the great Miranda decision.

I am in agreement with H. L. Mencken when he wrote: "The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering of troops on citizens in time of peace. All the rest have been disposed of by judicial interpretation and legislative whittling."

PETE TORGE

Hollywood

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