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March 14, 2009

Restrict, don't end, death penalty

Bill Lucero (3/9, Letters) asked us to put an end to the death penalty, and he does so for good reasons. Innocent people should not be put to death. Prosecutors who play fast and loose with the rules should not be able to extort a plea bargain by using the death penalty as a threat. Nor should they be able to impose a death penalty with underhanded tactics. Most death penalties as applied in this nation are questionable and should be revisited.

However, in certain limited cases, a death penalty is the most appropriate censure a society can impose on one of its members. I'm in favor of putting severe restrictions on how we apply the death penalty. I'm just not in favor of getting rid of it altogether.

There are some people whose crimes and demeanor are just so sick that we are better off if they are executed - Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson, to name a few

Brian K. Kegerreis
Overland Park


John Doe

I agree with you on this.

A large problem with the death penalty is it is too quick to kill. I don't want to know how many innocent men were framed and executed for a crime.

A man rapes and murders two women.
The nearby police arrest a suspect.
The suspect fits the evidence even though the suspect does not seem like a socio-path and assures the police he was at his home alone the nights of the murders.
The police, just wanting the case closed charge the man with two counts of first degree murder.
The jury and the judge are convinced they have the right killer.
The jury finds him guilty, the judge sentences him to death.
Soon, the man is executed.

10 years later, the police of the same city are investigating two more rapes and murders.
They find evidence connecting the murders to the ones 10 years ago, and, with modern technology find that it is the same murderer as before, meaning they executed an innocent man because they were too quick to judge.

I would say this is fiction, but it isn't. My father was the arresting officer of the man who was executed.

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