Letters to the Editor

Repeal penalty

March 27, 2009


To the editor:

I am disappointed that the state Senate failed to pass a bill to abolish the death penalty. Instead, they sent such a bill back to the Judiciary Committee for further study over the summer. Of the 36 states with the death penalty, New Mexico has repealed theirs and others are considering similar action.

State Sen. Marci Francisco pointed out that the death penalty has not been a deterrent to crime and that some have received the death penalty because of inadequate defense counsel.

Anna Quindlen, columnist for Newsweek (June 26, 2006), calls the death penalty “a failed experiment.” She states that four countries account for nearly all the executions in the world (China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United States). Since 1976, more than a thousand men and women have been executed in the U.S., but during the same period, more than 123 death row inmates have been exonerated.

It’s not true that murderers cannot be rehabilitated. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb shocked the nation in 1925 when they killed 14-year-old Bobby Franks for thrills. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Leopold studied to become a doctor, became a guinea pig in tests of new drugs for use against malaria, learned 27 languages and became an authority in several sciences, including ornithology and mathematics. In 1958, after 33 years in prison, he became a free man. He spent the rest of his life in Puerto Rico, dying in 1971.

During the summer, I hope our state committees can resolve the problems of repealing our death penalty, an expensive “failed experiment.”

Harold Piehler,



BrianR 9 years, 3 months ago

China, Iran, ans Saudi Arabia!

Not very good company. Why is America vengeful and backward?

DanaAB 9 years, 3 months ago

I support this bill. A sentence of death winds up costing the state more money than life imprisonment. In addition, research has shown that the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent for crime. However, more important than any other argument, in my opinion, is that capital punishment is unethical. I agree with BrianR, it is a vengeful and backward practice and America should not use it.

salad 9 years, 3 months ago

There are reasonable arguments for both sides of merits of death sentance as righteous punishment and whether it's moral or not. There is only ONE argument about the cost: it's too high....way way way too high. We should replace the death penalty and life in pri$on with permenant exile. Let the worthless scum fend for themselves and live with other worthless scum. We shouldn't have to pay for any of it.

Poon 9 years, 3 months ago

Saw the headline, and thought this must be about diving into the endzone.

1029 9 years, 3 months ago

What? Repeal the 15-yard penalty for diving into the end zone? No way! Those showboaters get what they deserve. End zone divers should have to pay the price for hotdogging it and diving into the endzone like spoiled little babies. If anything it should be a 50-yard penalty and they should take away the touchdown and charge the team a timeout and not let them be eligible for bowl play for at least five years. Dang hotdoggers are ruining the tradition of the game!

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 3 months ago

Though perhaps not a deterrent, putting a criminal to death will guarantee that he or she will not commit any more crimes. Protection of the community is foremost. Thank you, Lynn

RoeDapple 9 years, 3 months ago

I support the death penalty with one exception. In a case where all other evidence points to conviction make DNA testing mandatory on first appeal. With positive test results, drop all subsequent appeals and impose sentence.

rtwngr 9 years, 3 months ago

So, Harold, where do you stand on abortion?

BrianR 9 years, 2 months ago

rtwngr (Anonymous) says… "So, Harold, where do you stand on abortion?"

Yeah Harold, grass or astroturf?

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