Last month, a number of letter writers responded to the news that the family of a convicted murderer was bringing a lawsuit against the state because of a botched execution, which caused him to suffer for 20 minutes before he died.
They asked why because his suffering was no worse than his victim’s suffering before she died.
This suggests that there are still many who still believe that the purpose of the death penalty is to get revenge for murder victims.
But it is not. Taking revenge, by the state or by anyone, for a violent act results in more violence, not less. The sole purpose of the state in administering the death penalty is to hold the murderer responsible for his or her violent act on behalf of all the citizens of the state, and thereby discourage more killings. It is called justice for the victim’s family and friends, not revenge.
However, holding murderers in prison for the rest of their lives to hold them responsible for what they did has its advantages.
One, it is less expensive than the death penalty. Two, an early death is what most, if not all, prisoners on death row prefer. Imprisonment for life is to them a more severe penalty than death, but it is what they deserve.
Three, there are many gun-totting non-criminals in our society who believe that if the state has the right to kill those who deserve to be killed, then they, too, have that right. Fourth, it is likely that innocent men, wrongly convicted of murder, have been put to death.
A few, but I am sure we all can agree that even one is too many.
Last month’s botched execution is a fifth reason to repeal the death penalty, whose sole purpose is to quickly end the life of a convicted murderer, not torture them.
Alarming response to danger
John F. Kennedy once said, “Too often … we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
That’s exactly what I found in the Feb. 6 editorial “Verified in Akron,” which reflected on the cost-saving proposal of Akron Police Chief James Nice.
He plans to limit police responses to only those alarms that can be visually confirmed. How crazy is this? It defeats the purpose of an alarm.
Let’s say my house alarm is going off. I’m inside, and the intruder has a knife to my throat. I don’t answer my phone when my alarm company calls for verification. Because I cannot answer, they can’t send police for help.
The police chief won’t respond until a neighbor visually verifies the break-in and perhaps identifies my body.
O, my neighbor’s alarm sounds. Knowing that police won’t respond until after visual verification can be made, I go next door to search for intruders. Does anybody think it’s a good idea to have civilians patrolling neighborhoods because police don’t respond to alarms?
I agree that we need to reduce costs where it makes sense. Nobody wants to waste police resources, and I totally respect and appreciate all the police do for us.
Alarm users are typically 100 percent behind the police. We pay an annual licensing fee to the city plus a monthly service contract. My service company will make two phone calls, one to my house and one to my cell, before calling the police. That seems reasonable to me and only takes a few seconds.
Chief Nice should find a better way to save money. This proposal does not protect or serve.
Cold logic on climate change
In response to the Feb. 2 letter “Too cold”: Saying that the deep freeze we’ve been under demonstrates the fallacy of global warming is like saying that because we can walk out of our front doors and not find a mass of bodies bumping against each other, world overpopulation must be exaggerated.
Climate and weather are not the same thing; our extreme cold does not cover the whole planet, not even the whole country (California is experiencing extreme drought while we are covered in ice). Weather scientists look at day-to-day changes in the atmosphere, while climate scientists examine patterns over long periods in various areas.
While Northeast Ohio may not have felt it, the earth overall has been hitting the highest temperatures on record since 1998.
As for the dig against Al Gore and his supposed claim to have invented the Internet: Gore never actually said that. What he did say during an interview on CNN was that the legislation he supported and pushed helped to create the technology and necessary economy for the Internet to flourish.
His wording at the time was awkward and gave his political opponents fodder for years.
I do not mind reading views that may differ from my own, but it does make a difference when those views are first well researched.
Let’s all walk on the wild side
Let’s start with mail carriers who walk across the yard (that’s fine). Then we have the few school kids who walk. They walk down the middle of the street no matter what the weather.
If you dare ask them to move or toot the horn, they show you an obscene gesture, and sometimes worse. That does not happen much because parents in their SUVs pick up the chubby rascals almost daily.
Trust me, chubby children make chubby adults. I am living proof. If a mom is nervous about a child walking alone, perhaps a walk to the school would help.
Then we have the crazy moms, who in any kind of weather push jogging strollers down the street with their most prized possessions running interference.
All that being said, why do sidewalks need to be cleaned?