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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

U.S. Supreme Court Undercuts Miranda Law

May 30, 2003

Re "Court Gives Leeway to Interrogate," May 28: This Supreme Court decision clearly undercuts the Miranda decision and was fueled by the right-wing ideology that pervades our executive branch and our deliberative bodies. The stacking of the Supreme Court is nearly complete now, the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been relegated to the trash bin and, sadly, most Americans are too self-absorbed to notice or even care. The only thing that cuts through that haze is the vitriolic campaign of hate that seems to have taken over the airwaves.

People like me, who believe that the government should work for all the people, have been demonized and branded as unpatriotic. No one understands how I, a Vietnam veteran (USMC 1967-69), could possibly be a liberal thinker in the best Jeffersonian tradition. We now face an administration that in its arrogance makes life-or-death decisions in secret, has OKd torture and incarceration with classified charges and then tells us it's none of our business.

I fear what may happen next. Will it be the knock on the door at 3 a.m. and the disappearance of those who choose to exercise their rights or simply disagree with Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and his fundamentalist ilk? Once I was proud to be an American. Will I ever be proud again?

Ed Coonce

Encinitas

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With the decision by the Supreme Court effectively eliminating Miranda rights, it is now official. Mohamed Atta and his cohorts have won, and are running and ruining America from the grave. The grand experiment in democracy called the United States of America has failed and has fallen into the shame and disrepute of all the Saddam Husseins that ever were. Oxnard has once again shown itself and its police to be an embarrassment and a disgrace to all justice-minded people of the world.

Michael K. Walker

Goleta

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Six members of the U.S. Supreme Court have decided that it is acceptable for police officers to interrogate a man hospitalized in critical condition and beginning to cope with the horrifying reality that he had just been permanently blinded by a gunshot wound to both eyes. If judges do not wish to be held in contempt, then they should not make contemptible decisions.

Frederic W. Grannis Jr.

Long Beach

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