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Starr roles

January 03, 2008

Re "Open to the public," Opinion, Dec. 30

To say that Pepperdine University Law School Dean Kenneth Starr is actually an open-minded person who does not have sexual hang-ups proves the point of his critics during his investigation of President Clinton as special prosecutor.

Starr operated as a political partisan who worked overtime to make a case when there was none (Whitewater) and then bullied and browbeat potential witnesses to create a case out of a private sexual encounter to make a political case against Clinton so Republicans could attempt to make some cheap political points.

Reed Harrel

Monrovia

I was laughing out loud until I realized Jim Newton's piece on Starr was serious. My morning was ruined. I read it again, hoping to find the irony, and at the conclusion of this moronic bit of puffery made an incredible discovery. Newton is the editor of the editorial pages. The Times is officially in the dumper.

K.L. Poore

Long Beach

A good example of how Starr has devoted himself to public service and the rule of law is the important pro bono work he has been doing on the death penalty.

In 2005, Starr represented Virginia death row inmate Robin Lovitt, raising serious questions about the flaws in Lovitt's conviction. Lovitt eventually was granted clemency.

In 2006, Starr sought clemency for California death row inmate Michael Morales, whose execution is currently stayed pending court review of lethal injection.

Starr, who supports capital punishment in theory, has forthrightly said that "society is not equipped to handle death penalty cases because of resources" without which the system risks being "administered with arbitrariness and caprice."

Stephen Rohde

Los Angeles

If Pepperdine University desired a dean of its law school who was ethical and would "develop and train very able and honorable lawyers of absolute integrity," it chose the wrong man.

Starr showed by example that his goal of hurting the Clintons was the predominant aim of his many years as a special prosecutor.

Further, his example of releasing the grand jury transcripts can only provide our future attorneys trained at Pepperdine with the equivalent of bottom-line commercialization, i.e., try to win at any price.

Henry Pinczower

Los Angeles

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