The Times editorial (Oct. 9), "Marshal Meese," is not in keeping with the high standards that a first-class newspaper should set for itself. And as much as I disagree with The Times, it is a first-class newspaper. This demeaning personal attack demeaned your newspaper more than Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III.
Clearly his words about the Supreme Court's Miranda ruling concerning self-incrimination, which might have appeared to be laughable to your editorial staff, are not laughable to the majority of American people. I believe they understood what he was saying and the majority probably agree with him. There have been many times that I and others have read the words of your editorial staff and, rather than laugh, have almost cried at your naivete as you applaud a long line of court decisions that have tortured the words of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and that are very much responsible for chaos in our criminal justice system.
Your editorial writers, after an outstanding series of articles on the death penalty by Times staff writers, had the arrogance to self-righteously chastise 75% of the people of California, including those who sit as jurors and those who vote for supporting the death penalty.
Unfortunately, we in law enforcement are not gifted with the profound thinking and writing skills of your editorial staff. We are just simple folk who believe that when a person is guilty of a crime, we should be able to prove in a court of law the truth of the matter in a simple, direct way and not have to find our way through a maze of elaborate court-made rules that have nothing to do with the Constitution.
Our Constitution and Bill of Rights dictate care in trying to interpret their meaning. Some of our activist judges have not approached their interpretive task with care and that is what the attorney general is talking about.
DARYL F. GATES
Chief of Police