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Meese's Attack on Miranda Rule

February 01, 1987

I enjoyed reading the editorial, "What Hogwash!" in which the editorialist takes another swipe at one of his pet bete noires, Atty. Gen. Meese--and with what confidence in his own view as to what is "distinctly American" and "constitutional!"

I have a rather jaundiced view toward our system of justice in which society's self-protection from its criminal element has been systematically weakened in favor of the "civil liberties" of the criminals.

I am referring primarily to such so-called rules of evidence--which would be more correctly called rules against the evidence--which deny to the jury consideration of such direct oral and material evidence as confessions and fruits of crime, even when not wrung or stolen from the defendant by either physical or psychological extortion or malicious invasion of his fundamental rights.

Malfeasance on the part of law enforcement representatives of the sort mentioned in the preceding paragraph should not go unpunished. But what has that to do with the guilt or innocence of the alleged criminal? Society itself should not be made the whipping boy at the instigation of a defense attorney whose aim is not to assure his client a fair trial but rather to nullify the very purpose of a trial (to determine the defendant's guilt or innocence), thereby setting society against itself. Society deserves something far better than that. And needless to say, criminals deserve something far more appropriate than their release from punishment.

You may gather from the above that I wholeheartedly approve the title of your editorial.

WILLIAM J. McCAULEY

Santa Ana

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