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Letters to the Editor

Stop executions

June 18, 2011

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To the editor:

It is time that Kansas does as Illinois did recently and rescind the death penalty. As Scott Turow recently spoke to the Kansas Bar Association telling of his role in that action in Illinois, I became aware we must face this issue aggressively.

As a minister I have never favored such action. It is contrary to the Gospel of Christ and a mandate of the Old Testament. How we as a culture interpret “Thou shalt not kill” as OK is beyond my understanding. As a therapist I am deeply aware that such action is destructive to families and communities.

On the other hand, we regularly execute innocent persons in this act; 138 persons who have spent years on death row have been exonerated from death row in recent years. That is reason enough to never let it happen again. How many more would be alive today if we had modern science in past years that would save them? Kansas must take all this seriously.

Comments

jaywalker 2 years, 10 months ago

Oh, come now, ye arbiters of yon chaste forum. Surely that last post of mine didn't warrant deletion. While tongue in cheek, it was merely a pseudo- apology, nothing inflammatory or profane whatsoever, yet you leave those two posts of Jimo's?
So, incite at will and we'll delete all who challenge. Excellent. What exactly are the criteria you go by? There certainly are a number of race-baiters and their counterparts, quick to cover others in their "racist!" blankets, and yet those numerous posts litter these boards untouched?

You folks are usually pretty solid and I've never had real reason to gripe before, so the benefit of the doubt is yours.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Thou Shall Not Kill with one large exception = the millions of innocent men,women and children in the oil rich nations of the world.

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bliddel 2 years, 10 months ago

Even if there's "only" one mistake in hundreds of capital trials, it's unacceptable. It is better to let ten guilty people get off with "only" life in prison, than to kill one innocent human being. DNA evidence in Illinois has conclusively proven we're not smart enough to get it right consistently. So, until we can be right pretty much all the time, we should have a moratorium on executions.

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tscaf2000 2 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Ray Parker 2 years, 10 months ago

We will never ever give up our God-given right to capital punishment, our right ever since Noah stepped off the Ark.

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kernal 2 years, 10 months ago

"We have 250 million good people in the USA, we don't need 1 million bad ones."

At last count in 2010, our population was just over 308,400,000 and 1,000,000 of those were incarcerated in U.S. prisons or jails.

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gkerr 2 years, 10 months ago

Wanton murderers deserve to be put to death after due process conviction. Capital punishment in some cases is just and fair. I do not believe the option for capital punishment should be eliminated. Gkerr

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Jimo 2 years, 10 months ago

As long as the Party of Death runs Topeka, this isn't going to happen.

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verity 2 years, 10 months ago

People still get railroaded, badgered into confessing, misidentified in lineups, evidence gets "mislaid" or contaminated, prosecutors withhold evidence illegally or are willing to get a conviction at any cost---the list goes on.

Very seldom are we 100% sure.

Even recent cases in Lawrence were based on circumstantial evidence. The criteria is reasonable doubt, not 100% sure.

You or your loved one might be the person who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, misidentified or just have no alibi. Would you be willing for a few mistakes to be made then?

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 10 months ago

One big improvement with the death penalty now is the lawyers themselves. If there is a chance for the death penalty, you end up with a much better lawyer then you did 20 years ago. Let's put it this way, I trust the people getting sentenced to death now then I did 20 years ago.

Not big on the death penalty. Does Jonathen & Reginald Carr and John Robinson deserve it, heck yes. For single murders, not sure.

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50YearResident 2 years, 10 months ago

The Death Penalty just needs to be improved. Anyone "caught in the act" of murder and those convicted with indisputable evidence need to be put to death within 30 days of the murder. End of problem. Any convictions with questionable or less than positive evidence can be gived "life". There has to be severe penalties to deter murders.

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 10 months ago

Since the tests that proved the innocence of 137 death row inmates from decades ago are now the same tests being used to prove guilt, isn't this argument obsolete?

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sierraclub 2 years, 10 months ago

But, abortions are okay? But, killing a murderer is not okay?

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tange 2 years, 10 months ago

The wanton taking of a life is a heinous crime, perhaps the most heinous act to be perpetrated, so heinous, in fact, that it is deserving of our greatest penalty. Accordingly, let us respond by becoming its perpetrators.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I gave this example a couple of months ago and no one was able to give me a good response. There was a man convicted of murder in California. He was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. While in prison, he conspired to commit additional acts of murder. He conspired with individuals on the outside to murder those who had testified against him in his first trial. Those murders were in fact carried out. Now, being part of a conspiracy to commit murder and those murders were in fact carried out, he is guilty of murder. What sentence should he receive for those murders, keeping in mind that he is already serving life without parole?

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

I did a bit of research, here's a clip:

Kansas

Does my state have the death penalty? Yes, however Kansas has not had an execution since 1976.

What is my governor's position on the death penalty? According to the Governor's office, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius “upholds the current Kansas state law regarding the death penalty.”

How many people are on Death Row in my state? There are currently 7 prisoners on Death Row in Kansas. Of the 7 Death Row prisoners, 2 are black and 5 are white.

Is there anything like the Center on Wrongful Convictions in my state? Midwestern Innocence Project at UMKC 5100 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-2415

Was anyone on Death Row ever found innocent in my state? To date, no prisoner on Death Row was found to be innocent in Kansas.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

You need a better translation of:“Thou shalt not kill.”

Translated directly from Hebrew into modern English, it reads: "Do not commit murder."

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hujiko 2 years, 10 months ago

Kansas is supposed to be a "culture of life" according to Brownback, perhaps this should be taken up with him.

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