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'Lesson for Deukmejian'

September 14, 1986

When Gov. Deukmejian was attorney general of California he carefully drafted a death penalty law that met the stringent requirements of the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Deukmejian's law was overridden by passage of the Briggs Initiative.

So hastily and poorly written was this politically motivated initiative that the courts have been burdened with litigation on its obscurities.

Certainly it is the duty of any court, when the ultimate penalty is asked, to assure full and complete compliance with the law, however "technical" it may seem.

It is ironic that Deukmejian now blames Justices Bird, Reynoso, and Grodin rather than the Briggs fiasco for delays in carrying out death sentences.

C.A. DILLMAN

San Diego

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