CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1991
Two simple propositions have set this country's criminal-justice system above that of all other nations. We believe that a defendant is innocent until proved guilty and that it is preferable that a guilty person go free than an innocent person be punished. However difficult, slow and costly these propositions have made the meting out of justice, they have served us well for 200 years.
June 7, 1989 |
Over objections from two justices, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday issued new procedural rules designed to speed the review of death-penalty cases. The new standards require defense attorneys to ensure that habeas corpus petitions--in which condemned prisoners raise new issues that go beyond claims in their direct appeals to the court--are filed "without substantial delay." Until now, these secondary appeals, which raise such issues as inadequate trial counsel or newly discovered evidence, ordinarily have not been filed until after the defendant's direct appeal has been decided by the high court.
March 12, 1989
Your editorial ("Bennett the Drug Czar," March 4) regarding the appointment of William Bennett to the position of drug czar misses the point rather badly. I'm certainly no fan of the Reagan agenda, which placed so many right-wing zealots, including Bennett, in senior positions. On the other hand, Bennett, for all his "diplomatic" shortcomings, did shake up the educational establishment, and pointed out very glaring deficiencies in the system. I'm far more concerned with the toll the drug world exacts on this society than I am over the niceties of constitutional rights or a comparison of whether we're in a serious war or a so-so war. If it takes the suspension of habeas corpus and the involvement of the military to get this filth out of America, then so be it. We are, or should be, at war. Ask the parent of a child innocently shot in a drug dealer's fight.