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'The Court Tunes Out'

May 06, 1987

The writer of your editorial on the death penalty decision of the Supreme Court (April 23), "The Court Tunes Out," allows his amazing logic to blind his common sense, a failing that regrettably seems to be a common practice of those who oppose the death penalty. Four of the Supreme Court justices also fall into the same trap.

Most fair-minded people share my view that the only criterion by which capital punishment should be imposed in any particular case is whether the crime itself warrants such a penalty based on the evidence of the case. If this criterion is used, no defendant, regardless of his race or religion, can claim that his punishment is unjust. The sentence meted out should be just that--a punishment.

Your editorial writer and others opposed to the death penalty are constantly sidetracked by other considerations that are wholly irrelevant, such as racial imbalance and whether or not capital punishment acts as a deterrence.

If indeed there are racial inequities--and I suspect that there are in some states--then this can easily be righted by sending more white killers to their death. Would your editorial writer be satisfied then? I strongly doubt it!

I have yet to hear of an instance where a judge and jury in a capital case have weighed the possibility of whether the imposition of a death sentence would affect a racial imbalance. Perhaps your writer would propose that they should!

It is all too asinine to even contemplate.

S.R. DRURY

Los Angeles

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