Archive for Sunday, July 8, 2001

Death penalty opposed

July 8, 2001


To the editor:

Recently I have read letters in the LJW expressing the writer's feelings on the death penalty, so I decided to write a letter telling how I felt about the death penalty.

A day after Timothy McVeigh was executed George W. Bush said the majority of Americans believe that "if the death penalty is certain, just and fair, it'll deter the crime." I don't believe the death penalty ever has been nor ever will be certain, just and fair.

How can anyone be certain the supposed murderer is guilty? It has been proven that people innocent of the crime that he or she was charged with were put to death. I cannot imagine what it would be like to die for a crime that I did not commit. If the punishment for murder were life in prison there would be no risk of killing people innocent of the crime that he or she was convicted of.

If the person convicted of murder was guilty of that crime, doesn't spending the rest of his or her life behind bars seem worse than death? The convict would have to live thinking every day about the murder he or she committed. Death seems like an easy way out for the convict. Killing the convicts causes only more suffering for innocent people; the family of the supposed murderer would lose a loved one.

Is it fair or just to give the murderer a "painless" death if the victim(s) suffered greatly? Timothy McVeigh, for example, killed 168 people and most of these victims probably suffered before they died. Yet he was killed by lethal injection, a supposedly painless way to die. That does not appear fair or just to me.

Life in prison as punishment for murder seems far more reasonable than death as punishment for murder. Some countries have stopped administering the death penalty. I hope one day the United States will see how uncertain, unjust, and unfair the death penalty is and join the countries who have stopped using death as a punishment.

Rose Rylko,


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