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Letters to the editor

More restrictive laws on voting; the Boy Scouts and a child molester; Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow's case

November 02, 2011
  • 2008 in Florida: Some voters came prepared for long waits before they could cast their ballots. Republicans in several states have tightened election laws before the 2012 presidential vote. (J. Pat Carter / Associated Press)
2008 in Florida: Some voters came prepared for long waits before they could…

The right to vote

Re "GOP tightens election laws in key states," Oct. 31

In many countries, voting is mandatory; it is considered an obligation.

Here in America, on the other hand, election day turnout is embarrassingly low, especially at the local level. Yet we have Republican lawmakers in several states going all out to reduce the numbers of eligible voters because voting should not be convenient or easy; after all, it is "a hard-fought privilege" that people died for, according to Florida GOP Sen. Michael Bennett.

It is startling to see how easily our democracy can be sabotaged, and we don't need terrorists to do that.

Isabel Downs

Santa Barbara

Another headline should be written: "Dems want to make voter fraud more likely for 2012 election."

You often have to show ID at a retail store when using a credit card; why not show ID when voting?

Louis Grinbaum


A more accurate headline would read: "GOP stifles democracy in key states."

In Florida, Republican lawmakers have shortened the early voting period to one week and eliminated voting on the Sunday before election day. Voters are required to show ID. These are patently obvious ploys to reduce voter participation and cut into the opposition party's strengths.

Whatever happened to the GOP bumper stickers reading "Country First"?

Paul McElroy

Laguna Woods

Scouting and the law

Re "Boy Scouts failed to report abuser," Oct. 29

When will people realize that we are first and foremost human beings? You don't need a holy book or Boy Scout rule to tell you that molesting children is an inexcusable crime.

But somehow, when people get so tied up in a group — whether, for instance, it be the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church — they lose sight of their humanity in trying to protect that group, making them accessories to a despicable crime deserving of severe punishment.

Until we stop thinking about all of our own little groups and realize we are all in this together, and that our children should always come first, our humanity is in jeopardy.

Michael Cohen

Studio City

As someone active in Scouting for more than 50 years, I am offended by your article. You completely de-emphasize the steps the organization has taken to prevent the behavior of a few despicable predators.

You also fail to recognize that the numerous attorneys who represented serial molester Rick Turley and the courts that allowed his freedom deserve considerable blame. Why not mention this failure of our judicial system?

Most important, you fail to recognize how the Boy Scouts of America has developed leadership skills in boys ages 11 to 18, helping them achieve high honors in school and college.

Why not acknowledge the work of the young men who are improving their churches, synagogues and communities?

Bob Levey


So the Boy Scouts enables child molesters but doesn't allow professed atheists to participate in Scouting activities.

Time to replace the leadership with moral atheists who don't cover up their depravity with a supposed belief in a deity.

Tama Winograd

Valley Village

Beating up on Bryan Stow

Re "Dodgers' attorney disputes blame," Oct. 29

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's attorney, Jerome Jackson, has reached rock bottom in claiming that Bryan Stow may bear some responsibility for his beating because he had a blood alcohol level of 0.176%.

It sounds as if Jackson has defended accused sex offenders. Was Stow perhaps wearing provocative Dodgers clothing as well? Perhaps he shouldn't have been out in that area alone at that time. Go on, Jackson, try the "you know he was begging for it" defense.

Utterly disgusting and offensive.

Jon Phillips


Remind the attorney representing the Dodgers to assess Stow's mother some of the blame — for giving birth to him, thereby allowing him to attend a baseball game where he was nearly beaten to death.

Mary Ferrell

Seal Beach

Death penalty dilemma

Re "What if an innocent is executed?," Postscript, Oct. 29

Because the judicial system is not perfect and innocent people have been sent to prison, some to be executed, due process of the law is fallible.

Systems can be complex; to find the flaws in a system and its subsystems can take time, beginning with the admission that one or more problems exist within it and ending with repair.

The judicial system has changed with time. DNA evidence, for example, is now allowed and has proved that some of the incarcerated have been innocent.

Logically, processes prone to fallibility should not lead to irreversible decisions such as the death penalty.

Joan Forman

Redondo Beach

Aside from agreeing with the response from David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew Grossman, I must take issue with reader Thomas Wright's argument that "capital punishment is not preventing murder in Texas or Georgia."

There is absolutely no doubt that those executed in Texas and Georgia — or anywhere else for that matter — will never kill again.

James M. Weyant

Big Bear City, Calif.

The thorny issue of murals

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