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Criminals do not deserve sympathy

To the Editor:

Well, enough really is enough. Society has been suffering from the stupidity of people like Paul F. Romanelli for too long. His letter to The Tech ["Garfinkel needs more sensitivity," Feb. 8] concerning Simson Garfinkel's subway fears and the Bernhard Goetz shooting incident is almost as hypocritical as it is inane.

What is your problem, Mr. Romanelli? You seem to be very concerned with our laws and who advocates disregarding them -- so where is your admonishment of your "four children?" (Or "all the muggers in New York City or Boston" for that matter.)

They weren't just playing on that subway, you know. These children were carrying weapons, and some of them already had criminal records (like you, perhaps? Remember, you said, "Maybe I even have a criminal record...").

And no, I'm sorry Mr. Romanelli, but these four children weren't just attempting to borrow five dollars from a complete stranger.

I don't know where you come from, but where I come from, and where Goetz and your four children come from, when people "ask" someone for money on a New York subway, they don't plan on returning it.

What did you think, Mr. Romanelli, that the youths were going to mail their new friend his money back? What occurred on that train is called a "shaking down."

It has happened to me, and I certainly hope it has happened to you. If Goetz hadn't shot those youths and he refused to "lend" them the money, the next step would have been forceful robbery, whether you want to believe it or not.

I, too, am worried, Mr. Romanelli. I hope you are not thinking of becoming involved in our justice system -- it's bad enough as it is. But don't worry, Mr. Romanelli, you seem to give the impression that you can make money some other way. So keep riding the subway, and keep carrying your screwdriver (sometimes), and try asking a stranger for "ten dollars." With any luck, you'll ask Bernhard Goetz. Or maybe Simson L. Garfinkel.

I agree with you on one point, Mr. Romanelli -- it is a big frightening world that we live in, and it always will be. And people like you make it that way.

Richard E. Herrmann '86->