Re " 'Good Samaritan' Laws Are Hard to Enact, Experts Say," Sept. 9: Forgive me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge there has never been a "good Samaritan law." There used to be "accessory before" and "accessory after the fact" laws, with appropriate punishment. Did these laws go out when the "freedom of speech" laws went in?
There used to be vagrancy laws that kept people off the streets, but when it was found that this law infringed on their rights to live on the streets, now just drive down the downtown L.A. streets about/after dark--if you dare.
* Rather than try to pass laws difficult to enforce, why don't we attempt a "good parenting" law? Is no one angry that a negligent father left his 7-year-old in an arcade at 3:30 in the morning?
* Re "Protecting Children Always a Good Cause," Commentary, Sept. 6: I'm all for a Sherrice Iverson Law: one that holds parents accountable for abandoning their children in public places, even for "only a minute." There seems to be an agreement among parents that they "can't be everywhere," which supposedly justifies their not being anywhere.
Enforcing a "good Samaritan" law sounds extremely problematic. Convenient blindness ("I didn't see"), deafness ("I didn't hear") and amnesia ("I don't remember doing that") are common human afflictions, and are bound to be as handy to defendants in court as "temporary insanity" has been.
Once again, outrage over crimes against children is focused on the wrong end of the problem. All the energy is going into the three Ps (persecute, prosecute and punish), and the kids are still running around unsupervised.