To the Editor:
Seth Barhorst makes some good points on capital punishment, but it will fail as a deterrent until we cut the time between sentencing and execution. This can only be done by changing the rules.
First and foremost, no one should be convicted on circumstantial evidence, or the word of an informant, or other person who may have something to gain by lying. DNA can be planted, eye witnesses unreliable, and prosecutors are more interested in their conviction rate than truth or justice. Proof must be absolute to convict and then, the death sentence carried out within 30 days of conviction. And yes, if it were my loved one, I would want the process dragged out until he or she died of natural causes!
The point is that it doesn’t matter who the murderer is, how hard a life they had, how insane they are, or were at the time, or what their race, religion, or national origin is. The only things that should be taken into consideration are: Did they do it? How likely are they to do it again? Can they be returned safely to society?
The only logical, moral reason to kill anyone is to protect society in general. Someone who kills a child molester, rapist, or to prevent a violent crime should not even be put on trial. In short, make it quick, sure, and certain, if public safety is your concern.
— Tom Fenner