Re "On Jurist's Case Over His Ties to a Killer," Feb. 16: I believe it is extremely important for judges, prosecutors and other officials to visit our prisons. Since taking office in 1999, I have visited 31 of California's 33 prisons. Our concern over U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski's visit to San Quentin has nothing to do with whether judges should visit prisons. It has everything to do with judicial integrity.
What is glossed over in your story, and what gives my office concern, is that Judge Kozinski was reported to have discussed, during a visit with one prisoner, other death row inmates who have cases pending before him. Such conduct is improper and does a disservice to our legal system, irrespective of whether Judge Kozinski has a tendency to uphold death sentences or to reverse them.