Capital Punishment: Should the Appeals Process Be Streamlined?

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The article "Capital Punishment Is on the Rise; California on Verge of an Execution," March 25, is very interesting.

Before the death penalty was finally abolished in Britain in 1969, a number of men were hanged whose innocence later came to light. The most famous is probably Timothy Evans, who was granted a posthumous free pardon by the Queen in 1966. There were others, though, like Walker Rowland and James Hanratty.

In my opinion, therefore, there is a strong argument for not streamlining the federal appeals system in the United States. I agree with the viewpoint expressed in the article "that no safeguard in the system is too much when a person's life is at stake." James Westland, Nottingham, England Judicial reform in Britain

Regarding the article "Britain's Chief Justice Promises No More Wigs, Gowns, or Cobwebs," March 11: The new chief justice and future Lord Taylor may be correct in his assessment of Britain's legal system and its need of reform, but changing the apparel of the judges does not constitute judicial reform.

Traditional apparel may isolate the judges from the community, but a certain amount of isolation is necessary for an impartial and effective judicial system.

Reform must come from within the justice system, and wigs and gowns will neither hinder nor enhance the workings of the law. Cash Marsh, Florence, Ala. Democracies in the making

The editorial "Telling America's Story," March 23, is right on target. For the past 40 years the United States Information Agency (USIA) has helped convince foreign citizens that a democratic system works.

Over the past three years, we have seen a new world of freedom emerge; and where democratic principles have been adopted, we are helping foreign citizens and leaders create the institutions which embody those principles. …


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