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'Vigilante Justice,' Menendez Trial

January 23, 1994

* Susan Estrich may be a professor of law, but in her article she demonstrated as much knowledge of the U.S. jury system as she did of political campaigning when she served as Michael Dukakis' campaign manager.

While it is easy to sympathize with her major premise that perpetrators of an indictable act should not be depicted as victims, one must not fall into the trap of faulting American due process and the jury system. Lawyers for the defense are employed specifically to defend their clients. They must use every legal means at their command to do just that.

Clarence Darrow may not have gotten Leopold and Loeb free; but he will long be remembered in the legal profession for his precedent-setting defense and his most eloquent summation to the jury.

Perhaps, to Estrich's dismay, in our country defendants are still entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers. Understanding citizens must guarantee that this is one entitlement that is never taken away.

ALEXANDER L. BRITTON

Los Alamitos

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