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Harsh laws won't curb teen crime

I was saddened to read the Monitor give its approval to the new brutality legislated daily against American juveniles in the editorial ``Youth and Crime,'' Jan. 10. Inexplicably, the editorial applauded draconian measures in Florida and Illinois that have managed to lower the age at which juveniles can be tried as adults, and held in high-security detention centers. A decade of such ``tough'' folly has only brought us younger criminals. To purport that lowering the age again will possibly ``help curb juvenile crime'' is fatuous. Tragically, many of our elected leaders have joined in the propaganda game of creating the least humane legislation. As a news organization, the least the Monitor can do is cease from applauding this spectacle. Mary I. McFetridge, North Pole, Alaska

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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