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The Prosecution

August 01, 1993

Jim Newton has offered us a dramatic description of the vast resources and Herculean effort expended by zealous government officials in the face of the political necessity to succeed in the second trial involving the beating of Rodney G. King ("How the Case Was Won," June 27). But is the U.S. Justice Department being fair when its prosecutors bully, intimidate and harass some witnesses while "gently" allowing an admitted liar to explain why his memory was incomplete? And is the Civil Rights Division respecting the constitutional protection against self-incrimination when it concludes "a deal" with the LAPD to ensure that witnesses who use that right may be deprived of their jobs and pensions and blacklisted for life? IHOR O. BOHACHEVSKY Woodland Hills

This city needs to heal from its past wounds, not be constantly reminded of them. It's time to focus on the future: community-rebuilding efforts (or the lack of them), the establishment of black-owned and -operated businesses, and the creation of after-school clubs and job-placement programs for inner-city youth.

DEBBIE COOK Simi Valley

You took seven pages to explain how the federal prosecutors ruined the lives of two honest police officers. I can sum it up in one sentence. They did it with mirrors. EVELYN J. THANSTROM Lake View Terrace

If these convictions stand up after appeal, if citizen groups that usually scream out when they believe that a criminal suspect has suffered an injustice remain silent, and if the type of prosecution revealed in the article is condoned with police-officer defendants and not with others, the system has failed and we are all losers. BILL CRAWFORD Monrovia

AIDS AND AZT Referring to the article "Toxic Hope" (by Linda Marsa, June 20): When the AIDS crisis began, scientists were not "desperate to conquer the disease that was sucking the life out of so many." And AIDS did not "hit a vocal and extraordinarily well-organized population." It was the willingness of the public-health and scientific communities to do nothing that forced those initially affected to get organized. Theories about the cause of AIDS have ranged from immune-system overload as a result of gay sex to syphilis to a mixture of amyl nitrate and Crisco. One can never discount the importance of cultural bias in the formulation of theories. In evaluating AZT, desperation and corporate profit seem to be coloring the debate. The world conference on AIDS showed that there is anything but a consensus on AZT. Think of how different things would be if HIV had been transmitted by golf balls, and that the highest-risk group had been well-to-do white males who frequent country clubs. The price of the response to the epidemic has been the lives of people who suffer from AIDS. This crisis has underlined the immorality of a system that puts profit ahead of people. R.S. WHYTE Mission Viejo

"Toxic Hope" was too important to be buried in the back of the magazine. It should have been a cover feature. DR. JACK GILMAN West Hollywood

CHRISTIANS ON MORMONS William Long's essay on Mormons in South America ("Soul Men," June 20) was of interest but misleading in referring to them as Christians. The Mormon church denied the doctrine of the Trinity (i.e., the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three persons in one God who created and rules the entire universe) as well as the specific and unique divinity of Christ as the only begotten son of God the Father. THOMAS HOGAN Long Beach

Mormonism is a religion unto itself, not a part of orthodox Christianity. Unlike Christianity, which is monotheistic, Mormonism is polytheistic in doctrine. Mormons believe that humans can become gods. No Christian can accept or believe that there is more than one God. REV. LEE B. ROZEN, PASTOR SALEM LUTHERAN CHURCH Whittier

Editor's note: The following is a response from Keith Atkinson, California director of public affairs, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: "Within Christianity, there have always been differing perceptions on the composition and nature of the Trinity. Upholding one view as better than another should not be grounds for labeling one group Christian and another non-Christian if both groups accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of humankind. Members of the LDS church are incorrectly perceived by some as being outside of orthodox Christianity because they do not subscribe to all post-biblical creeds and decisions of Western Christian councils that are not found in the New Testament. Since Mormons believe that God alone has the power to exalt humankind to God-like stature, their worship of this "one true God" is biblical and monotheistic in the truest sense of the word."

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