Christopher Boyce is nothing more than a convicted traitor, prison escapee and bank robber ("The Falcon and the Fallout," by Richard A. Serrano, March 2). He is a narcissistic sociopath who exhibits not one iota of remorse for his crimes. He should have considered how painful our prison system is before selling secret information to the Russians. People like him should be locked up forever and forgotten, not given the bully pulpit of a magazine cover story.
Stephen H. Cooper
Serrano's article presented a most compelling argument in favor of parole. No matter how severe the crime or the sentence, prisoners have little or no hope to improve themselves or reenter society if we do not give them the carrot of a possible earlier discharge. It's also proper, I believe, to credit Robert Lindsey for writing "The Falcon and the Snowman" and John Schlesinger for directing the film.
The three-strikes law currently lists 344 inmates who are serving long prison terms for petty theft, including videotape thefts. Although Boyce appears to have been "rehabilitated," his parole brings up a fairness question when it is compared to others who do not have the possibility of parole under California's one-size-fits-all sentencing policy for third strikes. Something is wrong here!
After all of these years, Boyce is a free man. I had to ask myself, "Why?" The obvious reason is that he has done his time in prison. But let us not over-trivialize the fact that he escaped from prison, robbed banks and lived on the run. The danger he chose to live in also put those around him in danger. That didn't seem to matter to him one bit.
A book and a movie made him a cult hero years ago. He was a young kid, with a good job and a father who got him out of trouble (until the day he was caught). There was drug money and excitement involved. But I wonder if people still feel the same way about him today. Now, post-9/11, we think about terror, spies and traitors. We would not make him a cult hero. We would not write a book or a movie. We would be grateful that he was behind bars where he should be and not out selling America and Americans short.
I wish to extend a heartfelt welcome home to Boyce. I hope he writes his autobiography because so many of our most cherished civil liberties are on the endangered list, and some of our true heroes have yet to be heard from.
I fail to see how any objective observer could have sympathized with the treacherous actions of Boyce and his partner. What is the basis of Serrano's assertion, "No one died as a result of Boyce's actions"? Hardly conclusive.
Joseph F. Brittain
What's next on your cover? Oh, that's right, it's Oscar time--so I guess we can expect Roman Polanski.