Wives are allowed to make conjugal visits. Why not girlfriends? So reasoned Ray Cummings, 60, a murderer serving a life term at California's San Quentin Prison. When authorities turned down Cummings' request for occasional 48-hour visits from his girlfriend Susan, who is in her late 20s, he went to court. His attorney, Don Specter of Berkeley, argues that the state is not entitled "to decide who your loved ones are and whom you are to spend time with in prison." So far, two courts have responded unromantically. A more promising solution would seem to be marriage, but Cummings, who lived with...

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