[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----TEXAS, N.Y.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Apr 23 06:02:48 UTC 2007
Abolishing the death penalty
Call adds to hopeful signs
Re: "Death no more We cannot support a system that is both imperfect and
irreversible," April 15 Editorials.
I applaud The Dallas Morning News. As the editorial points out, the death
penalty is "both imperfect and irreversible," which has led to wrenching
cases of innocent people being released from death row and the strong
possibility that innocent men have been put to death.
Years of study have shown that the death penalty does little to deter
crime and that defendants' likelihood of being sentenced to death depends
heavily on whether they are rich or poor and the race of their victims.
Fortunately, there also have been signs of progress. Governors who oppose
capital punishment have been elected in several states, including Virginia
and Maryland. Executions in 2006 were at a 10-year low. And legislators
have mounted serious efforts to abolish the death penalty in Maryland,
Montana, Nebraska and New Mexico.
Those actions and your call to abolish the death penalty are signs that we
are getting closer to a time when we can end capital punishment and
restore some measure of fairness and integrity to our criminal justice
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., Washington
One mistake is too many
Re: "Opposing a repeal Mike Hashimoto explains three reasons that Texas
should continue capital punishment," April 15 Points.
I commend your editorial calling for the abolition of the death penalty.
It's a courageous stand.
I also commend Mike Hashimoto's column opposing your board's position. He
makes a reasonable and articulate case for the death penalty, one that
ultimately I am not persuaded by.
My primary reason for opposing the death penalty is expressed by the
mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal: "Justice and truth are two
such subtle points that our tools are too blunt to touch them accurately."
We know that we've executed innocent people. How many is too many? For me,
the number is one.
Bill Holston, Dallas
2 reasons to keep death
2 important arguments against a death penalty moratorium have not been
As we have seen in recent years, prison escapes do happen. Several escaped
prisoners killed an Irving police officer. Had they been executed, this
courageous officer might still be alive.
Silly as it sounds, no one who has been executed has escaped and hurt an
Second, without the possibility of a death penalty, those who are serving
life without parole would have no incentive to follow prison rules. Even
if they kill a guard or fellow inmate, no further punishment could be
Jim Brierton, Temple
Death can't be taken back
Congratulations on the reversal of your death penalty position. I came to
the same conclusion when the governor of Illinois placed a moratorium on
executions, after more than a dozen people on death row were exonerated by
We are now finding many people in Dallas County convicted of crimes but
later proven innocent. The death penalty cannot be undone. As a citizen, I
could not live with an innocent person being put to death in error.
Bill Armstrong, Dallas
Leaving out some injustice
I applaud and join your call for a moratorium on the death penalty in
Texas. If our system is about justice, let justice be done. Murdering a
murderer is illogical and immoral.
Additionally, I must take issue with Mike Hashimoto's editorial. He writes
(in bold letters), "It's applied fairly, accurately and sparingly." He
then spends the next nine paragraphs debunking the "death penalty
Not once does he mention the most glaring and pervasive injustices, that
poor people are much more likely to be executed. They are more likely to
be prosecuted, less likely to be offered a plea deal and more likely to
lose their case because of inadequate representation.
He also leaves the reader with the impression that he believes no
innocents have been executed. Can he be so nave?
Thank you for the courage of your editorial.
Randy Richardson, Dallas
Tired arguments in support
Mike Hashimoto thinks his excuses for supporting state killing are unique,
but like the death penalty itself, they are old and tired.
The death penalty is not punishment, since the offender learns nothing
from being murdered. Ignoring vast amounts of evidence, like Texas being
one of the most dangerous states in the country to be a police officer,
only sends the message he is not interested in the truth.
It comes as no surprise that he looks at only half the facts when it comes
to racism and the death penalty. It is not just the race of the offender
that matters but the race of the victim. The overwhelming majority of
people on death row are there for killing white victims.
His conscience is clear, because he has drawn the line and stopped asking
how the state murdering people for political gain is superior to any other
excuse for killing someone.
Michael Lax, Garland
(source: Letters to the Editor, Dallas Morning News)
Officials to call for death penalty for cop killers
In Albany, state officials, local law enforcement officials and families
of police officers slain in the line of duty will come together Monday to
call for the reinstatement of the death penalty for cop killers.
The families of slain Utica police Officer Thomas Lindsay, New Hartford
police officer Joseph Corr and state Trooper Andrew Sperr are expected to
attend the 1:30 p.m. press conference in Albany.
Officials in attendance will include state Assemblyman David R. Townsend
Jr., Assembly Republican Leader James Tedisco, Sen. Joseph Griffo,
Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, New Hartford police Chief Raymond Philo and
Utica Public Safety Commissioner Philip Taurisano.
(source: Utica Observer Dispatch)
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