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'Supreme Turnabout'

February 15, 1988

The Times editorial "Supreme Turnabout" (Feb. 3) was very cleverly written. Unfortunately, it is out of touch with mainstream Californians and their views on the Supreme Court. It glosses over the real emphasis of this type of ruling.

Obviously, most of us in California did not regard the Supreme Court during the (former Chief Justice) Rose Bird era in the same high regard as the judges and lawyers you cited. You must be referring to (former Justices) Cruz Reynoso, Joseph Grodin and ACLU attorneys that had attempted to stack the deck in favor of the criminal defendant beyond what is reasonable or necessary.

The people of this state overwhelmingly voted to follow the federal standard as it pertained to the admissibility of evidence and I imagine that we can locate many fine lawyers and judges who will agree that common sense has been put back into the court system and its decision.

The state high court's ruling on Feb. 1 did not "scuttle" a single thing as you state in the editorial. It did not "signal" police officers to "coax" defendants into making admissions or confessions that will be used against them after they have expressed a desire to speak with an attorney. This ruling will only allow these types of statements into evidence to impeach defendants who testify and perjure themselves. No more lying alibis! It appears that your view of the Fifth Amendment is distorted, as was the previous Supreme Court's. The current high court is being quite independent. Because it does not agree with The Times editorial staff does not mean it can't think for itself.

MICHAEL LEY

Agoura Hills

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