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Kathleen Soliah

July 11, 1999

Re "Turning Justice Upside Down for Kathleen Soliah," June 25: The tone and the message is a cause of great concern. It is the responsibility of the Los Angeles Police Department to make arrests for crimes committed. The department can make no allowances for those suspects who elude arrest and lead a life that Patt Morrison might consider "praiseworthy."

Soliah is accused of committing a very serious crime, the planting of explosive devices with the intent to harm police officers and possibly others. How humorous would this situation have been if these explosive devices detonated, killing or injuring the intended targets?

The fact that this crime was committed 24 years ago is completely irrelevant. Despite the time it took to apprehend the suspect, it is the criminal justice system that will ultimately judge the evidence in this case, not the court of public opinion. We should not be sending current and future criminals the message that if they commit a crime and manage to elude law enforcement personnel for an extended period of time, the public will absolve them. Additionally, the criminal justice system requires that those convicted be punished and/or rehabilitated under its jurisdiction--not self-rehabilitated.

BERNARD C. PARKS, Chief of Police, Los Angeles

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