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Flogging in Singapore

March 11, 1994

* The 18-year-old "youth" reportedly was in possession of stolen property and vandalized, via graffiti, several vehicles. Several people are outraged that the "youth" will be flogged and fined for his crimes.

As I watched the TV news about this incident, one fact stood out. I did not see one inch of graffiti anywhere else in that city. I thought about this as I watched Caltrans spend tax dollars cleaning up the sound walls on the San Diego Freeway (again).

I am not advocating that flogging be adopted as a punishment for graffiti or possession of stolen goods, but your article added that Singapore has almost no problems with graffiti and the subways are immaculate. This clearly shows that real punishment for a crime actually deters the crime in the first place.

KENNETH J. RAMSEY

Lake Forest

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