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Supreme Court Upholds Stay of Execution for Harris

April 08, 1990

You ask in your editorial ("It Almost Happened at 3 a.m.," April 3) "What would have been accomplished beyond Robert Harris' death" . . . (at the hands of an executioner)? You lament that the two young men he so ruthlessly murdered "will not be returned to life, nor will the hearts of their families and friends be made whole."

Isn't all that quite beside the point? Do we, or do we not live in what passes for a better expression, a civilized world? Do we not have simple rules to live by that make life in that world at least tenable?

Automobiles stop for red lights and pedestrians (or they're supposed to); thieves, when caught, are bound to pay up either by restitution or jail (or they're supposed to); murderers, regardless of their often frighteningly traumatic childhoods, have to pay the ultimate price (or they're supposed to). With the latter, especially in such heartless killings as Harris wrought upon those unfortunate boys.

We simply must have rules to live by, those rules must be honored or we are in ever grave danger of losing whatever vestige of civilization we imagine ourselves to be.

FREDD WAYNE

Santa Monica

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