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King and Denny Beating Trials

April 06, 1993

Regarding the Rodney King civil rights trial of the four LAPD officers:

With all the cries and demands for "justice" these days, I think we ought to remember that physicians are trained in medical school, not schools of healing, and lawyers in law school, not schools of justice. The ideals of both professions of good health and social equity are subject to many influences beyond the scope of academic training. Life with its shifting values and fashionable perspectives is just too unruly to conform to a succession of highly structured, broad principles argued in the safety of a distant classroom.

And that's the danger of a trial as provocative as this: The demand by so much of the public that it be turned into a referendum on life. It simply can't be and it isn't. The trial is basically an examination of history debated by a committee.

BILLIE FRANCIS

Monrovia

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