In response to the Night Stalker case, I note two ironies. To quote The Times, "At the height of the Night Stalker terror in the summer of 1985, about $80,000 in reward money was pledged" (Part I, Sept. 21). It's ironic that the distribution of the reward money, pledged by the city, county, public agencies and other groups, is being balked now that Ramirez has been convicted.
It's ironic because the trial has cost over $1 million yet the reward, which was an incentive for private citizens to identify and capture the suspect, is a small amount to pay back to the citizens for their role in stopping a criminal.
The other irony is there would have been a shorter trial and less cost to convict if Ramirez's request to waive his right to a defense had been honored. Why should it cost so much to convict a criminal, particularly if he waives his right to a defense?
In this case, would not the public good and justice have been better served if the judge had proceeded to try and convict the criminal without hearing a defense?
A court psychologist deemed Ramirez "borderline competent," so Ramirez should have been allowed to accept the consequences of waiving his right to defend his case.