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Series on Criminal Justice System in Los Angeles

January 02, 1991

The series by Freed was outstanding. The title "Justice in Distress" is very appropriate. The articles vividly portray just how distressed the system is.

We all talk tough, but there is no tough follow-through because the system will not allow it. We have a system that was designed in the horse-and-buggy days to mete out justice in accordance with the laws, moralities, volume of cases and social expectations of the horse-and-buggy era. Space-age volume and societal complexities have rendered it unmercifully inept.

A workable criminal justice system can be designed. It will take a much more organized and dedicated effort by all, including the taxpayers, to get it done. But a piecemeal approach will not relieve the distress, it will just shift it around from choke point to choke point.

Putting together a criminal justice system capable of dealing with 21st-Century criminal justice needs should be high on Gov.-elect Pete Wilson's list of things to get done.

DARYL F. GATES

Los Angeles Police Chief

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