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Letters to the Editor

GAMIT Poster Vandalism Intolerable

The vandalism directed against the Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Trangenders, and Friends poster and Lobby 7 pillar comment sheets cannot be tolerated ["GAMITPosters Vandalized; Classified as Hate Crime'," Oct. 13]. We invite those who might have information about these acts to speak with the Campus Police or some other member of the community in a position to act on behalf of MIT.

A strong community can be measured by its treatment of those of its number who are vulnerable for any reason. Those who write "Kill the faggots" strike at the heart of this community and our response will be a measure of our collective strength. More importantly these hateful words strike at our brothers and sisters. We condemn those who have used them.

At the same time we believe that civility can be taught and those so callous as to deface these posters can learn tolerance. Our ultimate goal is not to punish those who have acted so unwisely. It is to remind them that in a community of scholars, learning is wise only to the degree that is it also humane.

The Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs

Simpson Evidence Demanded Acquittal

Seth Hollar '96 and Jeremy L. Warner '99 ["Rhetoric Triumphs over Justice in Trial," and "Simpson Verdict Proves Judicial System Ineffectual," Oct. 6] should follow their own suggestions to think logically about the O. J/ Simpson trial, rather than automatically assuming Simpson's guilt in the murders and dismissing the issues raised by the defense as mere rhetorical or emotional balderdash. The jury acted reasonably in coming to its conclusions.

Does Hollar really believe the issue of planting evidence to be mere rhetoric? Does he really believe "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" to be a mere catch phrase? I would like to suggest an alternative possibility: If the glove didn't fit, then it wasn't Simpson's glove. It's possible that Simpson was faking when he had trouble putting on the glove. Or it might have shrunk while in police custody. But the prosecution must establish that either occurred; until they do, it casts a strong doubt about the evidence of the gloves.

It seems just too pat to find one blood-speckled glove at the scene of the crime and the other outside the entrance to Simpson's house. I have seen other hints that evidence was planted. Blood stains were found at Simpson's entry-way only weeks after the crime, but the detective claimed that he didn't search that area until then. Early in the trial, Judge Ito blasted the prosecution for dissembling or lying about investigators' motivations for initially breaking into Simpson's house. Some DNA tests weren't performed until many weeks after police had the material.

There were also at least two smoking guns: After drawing a vial of Simpson's blood at the police station, Officer Vannatter took the blood and drove around, eventually taking it to Simpson's house, before returning the blood to the police station. The vial contained less blood after the journey than was recorded in the documentation when the blood was extracted. The second smoking gun is that someone broke into Simpson's car while it was in custody in the police station.

We also have Mark Fuhrman's tapes, where he talks about his hatred for "niggers," calls for lining up all blacks in the city government to be shot, tells about planting evidence, and brags about beating blacks on the street. Fuhrman denied under oath that he had used the word "nigger" in the past ten years. He used the word over forty times on the tapes. Recall that Fuhrman was a primary investigator in this case.

The Fuhrman tapes are just one more confirmation of what I've believed for some time: That police officers routinely lie and perjure themselves, frame innocent people, assault and beat up minorities on the street, or close ranks to cover up their fellow officers' misdeeds. Police culture includes a code of silence as strong as the Mafia's. Blacks who talk about planted evidence and violent cops mostly speak from experience. Whites who deny those incidents mostly speak from ignorance.

I believe I am being extremely generous in saying there is at the very least a reasonable doubt that Simpson committed the murders. A reasonable doubt demands an acquittal. There is a small chance that Simpson was really guilty. If he was, we can blame the prosecution's dishonesty and incompetence for making it look like a frameup, not Simpson's attorneys for any rhetorical excess.

If he was innocent, the murderer is still loose prowling the streets, probably never to be caught. The police are guilty of aiding and abetting the murderer by trying to frame Simpson.

John Morrison PhD '93

Columnists' Complaints Demonstrate Egotism

I generally find The Tech to be an informative and enjoyable source of information. Even Jim's Journal has some value to everyday life. That value is difficult to measure, but it has some positive effect on the lives of its readers. That is more than can be said about two recent columns by Seth Hollar '96 ["Rhetoric Triumphs over Justice in Trial," Oct. 6] and Jeremy L. Warner '99 ["Simpson Verdict Proves Judicial System Ineffectual," Oct. 6]. They are poorly supported, draw impossible conclusions, and are hypocritical in their condemnation of the legal system.

First of all, both of these articles base their arguments on the premise that O. J. Simpson was guilty. I would venture to say that neither of these two columnist saw all of the evidence or heard all of the testimony. And even if they had, their opinions on his guilt or innocence are no more valuable than those of the jurors. Hollar is especially guilty of this. He writes, "The fact that O. J. Simpson was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is factually indisputable," and, "A man who murdered two people is now free." These quotes only serve to demonstrate the egotism of the author, thinking that his opinion is fact.

These columnists are complaining about the ineffectual legal system, yet the reason it is ineffectual is that the citizens will not change their opinions about a case when a verdict is reached. For these two legal philosophers, the only appropriate legal system is one that comes up with results that agree with their opinions. Their public dissent from the legal verdict is what actually undermines the system and causes ineffectiveness.

It is disappointing that in a newspaper with as strong a news section as The Tech, that the opinions section should be as poor as the last issue demonstrated. Printing two identical opinions about the same topic is not only uninteresting, but is also unbalanced. Surely there are potential guest columnists who have opinions that say something other than the norm.

Bryan P. Adams '99

Editor's note: The Tech welcomes column submissions from the entire MIT community.