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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Ex-Cons With Guns Just 'Protecting Themselves'

March 12, 2004

Re "Pair Won't Face Charges in Death," March 9: So, two ex-cons, illegally carrying guns, fire wildly at hoodlums who had just shot at them, resulting in the death of a young mother in her home. Now prosecutors fail to bring charges because it's considered self-defense. Say what? If two police officers had done this they would be crucified.

First of all, once the first shots had been fired from the car, the suspects were fleeing the scene. Anthony Mayo and Daniel Shelton were no longer in a life-threatening situation. Second, where did they get their guns? I'm sure they didn't have registered guns, much less concealed-weapons permits.

By this action the prosecutors are giving the green light to every gang member and street punk in the city. Gang shootings will now be justified with, "Well, yes, I did shoot them in the back and, yes, several innocent bystanders were killed, your honor, but I was just protecting myself."

Alan Stone

Van Nuys

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