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Archive for Saturday, June 30, 2012

40 years ago: On the Street, 1972-style: Lawrencians respond on death penalty

June 30, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for June 30, 1972:

The Journal-World often questioned as many as eight passersby in the occasional "Man on the Street" feature. Today, an informal poll had been taken at the Malls Shopping Center on the subject of the U.S. Supreme Court's qualified abolition of the death penalty. Most residents questioned admitted a distaste for legalized execution, but some specified certain conditions under which the death penalty could serve as a deterrent or punishment. Wallace Galluzzi spoke of the possibility of the execution of an innocent person, saying, "There's no return from that penalty." Debbie Winetroub stated firmly that she didn't agree with killing anyone, but added that there might be a few cases where the ultimate penalty would be distasteful but necessary, such as in the assassinations of public officials or the murder of prison guards. Ruth Brown agreed that "it would depend a whole lot on the crime committed.... I would definitely leave it up to the judge and courts; these men deal in such things day in and day out. They'd be able to tell better than I could." Other respondents argued that the death penalty was inhumane, with John Moritz claiming that it was "really no different from what has already been done by the murderer."

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