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Singapore Flogging Case and Graffiti

March 26, 1994

If you are wondering why we have so many societal problems, just read your March 19 editorial "Travel Advisory--When in Rome."

The editors seem to think that if people go around spray painting automobiles while committing other crimes in a foreign country and then make "restitution" they should not be subject to any sort of consequence or punishment--especially not one of our current culture. Balderdash! Flogging is actually too nice a punishment for this vandal and many of our own problems stem from our inability to promote responsibility by exacting consequences.

Our society allows killers to live, expecting others not to kill by this example. We have judges who don't judge, a legal system that inhibits justice, and no will to differentiate good from bad. When we constantly hear the silly calls for more police and more jails, this is a sure sign that people have lost the will to actually punish offenders for their crimes. It is the existence of consequences and the will to execute our laws to the fullest that speaks of our integrity and resolve for a good and healthy society.

Shame on The Times for promoting such nonsense!

HENRY J. SCHULTZ

Santa Clarita

*

Regarding your bleeding-heart cry for leniency: Forget it!

This 18-year-old youth decided to litter a landscape with his disrespect and visual selfishness. In a land that has none of this visual clutter and is completely pristine. Everyone in Singapore is dealt with the exact same way when he breaks this law; this kid knew this.

If we, as Americans, would get out of this "let's give criminals a break" mentality, we too would have a population that would not be rewarded for breaking the law. We as a Western culture cannot force our perspectives of this punishment as barbaric, just because we don't have it here. In Singapore, if you commit this crime, caning is the punishment--for everyone.

Take it from someone who battles graffiti personally in the City of Angels--it's no bargain. I've had 12-year-old taggers pull guns on me as I removed their scrawls voluntarily. What if they should shoot me? Suddenly caning doesn't sound so bad!

JOSEPH P. CONNOLLY

Los Angeles

*

I feel that everyone is missing the point regarding Michael Fay and the sentence handed down to him in a Singapore court.

The Singapore government remains steadfast in its determination to carry out the sentence, despite the numerous pleas from diplomats throughout the world.

This clearly illustrates another example of the arrogance of a tiny, inconsequential nation slapping the world's most powerful democracy on the behind.

BARRY P. RESNICK

Orange

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