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Crime Reduction

January 25, 1998

The opinion of the "experts" in "Tough Laws Get Little Credit for Crime Drop" (Jan. 18) is contrary to logic. As a deputy district attorney, I have seen career criminals sentenced to long prison terms almost on a daily basis since 1994 as a result of the three-strikes law.

The three-strikes law is the most substantive change I've seen in the criminal justice system in the nearly 30 years I've been a L.A. County prosecutor. For the so-called experts to say this is having no effect on reducing crime is simply absurd.

Do these experts have any doubt that if we were to suddenly release the thousands of career criminals in prison under the three-strikes law that we would experience a sharp increase in crime? Or, would they simply find some other excuse for the increase?

WALT LEWIS

Los Angeles

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