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Protecting Children

April 15, 1993

I read with mounting horror your article on the murder of children by their parents. What is even more unbelievable than the heinous crimes committed is the lack of attention they elicit from the media and the light punishment the perpetrators receive.

We would like to think that the legal system will protect the surviving children from these criminals. Your article makes it clear that this is wishful thinking, with the tale of the unnamed Los Angeles mother who forced her 5-year-old son to help her decapitate and butcher his brother, then after her release from prison gained custody of the surviving son, only to beat him and threaten him with his brother's fate.

The law for some reason classifies children as second-class citizens; that somehow the murder of a child is not as serious a crime as the murder of an adult.

Only when the media spotlight is focused on these gruesome crimes will the agencies responsible for preventing them be likely to receive adequate funding.

DIANE POLIN

Northridge

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