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Vincent Pelliccia

August 16, 1987

The United States legal system is designed to protect the innocent, punish the guilty and to rehabilitate the prisoner to become a functioning, useful part of society.

About that last part--rehabilitation--one hears very little.

And yet in the case of Vincent Pelliccia (Metro, Aug. 6), that is exactly what has happened without our legal system having to lift its finger (discounting the search for Pelliccia following his escape).

In no way can we condone his escape from prison or his crimes. But after close to half a century of exemplary living, good citizenship and raising five children to obey the law while providing them with the means to enjoy a family's love and support, we believe that Pelliccia has more than paid his debt to society.

In this year of celebration of the Constitution of the United States, let all authorities reflect on this landmark document. In its writing, for the first time in history, a governing body guaranteed its constituents justice in the spirit of the law, rather than the letter.

Pelliccia's case is, perhaps, extraordinary in the extreme--but that is what we believe the Founding Fathers were trying to allow for when they wrote "We the People . . ."

Let Pelliccia be what he has earned the right to be: a free man.

THOM CATE

ROBYN FRANKLYN

Thousand Oaks

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