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Since he took office, Terence Hallinan has proved over and over again that he is the best district attorney in the state of California, if not the United States. Your March 14 editorial, ["Hallinan should retire"], wrongly accuses him of “playing politics” by dismissing indictments against [Police Chief Earl] Sanders and [Deputy Chief Alex] Fagan Sr. You ignore the fact that Mr. Hallinan sought aid from the grand jury when police investigation of a fight, allegedly provoked by three drunken cops, resulted in a cover-up. Resorting to the grand jury to investigate police officers took guts. Most politicians, and most DAs, are terrified to lose the support of the local police: At election time everyone wants the endorsement of the local police. Mr. Hallinan wanted justice for two kids whose only crime was to waft the smell of meat past three drunks. Mr. Hallinan was willing to take the political consequences of alienating some bad apples in the SFPD because he has the courage of his convictions. Mr. Hallinan has proved again and again that he won’t play politics with the just prosecution of those who commit criminal offenses. Unlike DAs in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Marin, to name a few, Hallinan will not prosecute nonviolent offenders under the Three Strikes law. Three Strikes has given local DAs the power of life in prison over many repeat offenders. Hallinan’s use of this great discretion makes fiscal sense and moral sense. He uses the Three Strikes law to punish people accused of violent serious felonies. Mr. Hallinan will not use Three Strikes to turn a petty theft into a life imprisonment offense. He refuses to throw lives away in prison and he refuses to squander millions of state dollars to do so. He refuses to play politics with the lives of real people just to rev up his office’s conviction statistics. Your editorial completely ignores the fact that senior officers in the SFPD were covering up the bad acts of the son of one of the senior officers! The young man involved, [Alex] Fagan Jr., had such a shocking record of unprofessional conduct BEFORE his indictment offense that it is not an exaggeration to say that if DA Hallinan had not sought Fagan Jr.’s indictment, Fagan Jr. might still be roaming the streets armed with a gun. Fagan Jr. was never fit to be a police officer, but no one in the SFPD had the guts to do anything about him. Mr. Hallinan decided not to play politics with the safety of the residents of San Francisco so he took his investigation to the grand jury. The facts prove that Mr. Hallinan is not playing politics. The facts prove that San Franciscans were smart to have elected such a courageous prosecutor. AND THEY WILL AGAIN. Nedra Ruiz San Francisco

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