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Teens' Scary Artwork: Courts Ignore Rights

June 23, 2003

Re "Poetry as Art and Threat," June 18: Some judges seem to think the Constitution contains a clause saying that the Bill of Rights doesn't apply to kids. Courts have denied kids their constitutional rights time and time again, and it's outrageous. An adult who wrote a poem about a shooting at his workplace would never even be charged with making terrorist threats, let alone convicted.

Our criminal justice system applies the law to kids in a discriminatory fashion. Discrimination on the basis of age is no better than discrimination on the basis of race. People have no more control over their dates of birth than the color of their skin.

Josh Rivetz

Northridge

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Prosecuting children for their poetry and art that evokes violence is an obscene tragedy. What's next? Shall we start arresting teenagers for playing "shooter" video games? Shame on the judges who are sending children to juvenile hall for simply expressing themselves.

Doug Campbell

Canoga Park

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If George Julius T. can be charged and sent to juvenile detention for writing poetry that seems violent, then I guess we should arrest most of the rappers in America.

Sandra Z. Rapke

Los Angeles

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