Punishment of Yale Professor Too Harsh

To the editors:

I am afraid that your editorial (“Justice Served in New Haven,” Feb. 20) did not grasp what I was trying to do in my testimony last week for Antonio C. Lasaga. There was considerable pressure to impose an unreasonably long prison sentence just because Lasaga was a distinguished professor at Yale. I was trying to counteract this. I was not successful. The State of Connecticut imposed a 20-year prison sentence. This was more than three times the sentence recently imposed in Massachusetts on a hockey dad for killing another hockey dad; it was twice as long as the sentence imposed on the former Rev. John J. Geoghan for child molestation. Is this justice “under God and law”? I did not ask the judge for an acquittal, only for a sentence that would be consistent with those meted out for what I consider more serious offenses than Lasaga’s.

Heinrich D. Holland

Feb. 20, 2002

The writer is the Dudley Research Professor of Economic Geology.