We can't abolish the death penalty

February 28, 2011

The death penalty can never be abolished ("Death penalty's cruel toll on the victims," Feb. 27). Sadly, some of our law enforcement personnel are forced to shoot to kill, so there are "executions" without judge or jury. Then there are the cases, like just recently, where two incarcerated felons were found murdered. There was also the case of a felon murdering another on a bus when they were being transported.

As for the fear that some innocent person might be executed by mistake, what about the true innocents who are murdered by those who have murdered before? Prison guards have been murdered by those they guard. So-called "lifers" have escaped and killed again. As mentioned above, prisoners kill prisoners, and killers who somehow win early release go on to kill again.

Years ago I started clipping news items about killings done by people who had killed before but never got the death sentence. After accumulating a number of the clippings I had to stop because it became too depressing. If it takes so many years before a killer can be executed, there is something definitely wrong with our system. How come Saddam Hussein could be hung for his crimes against his people within a short time after his trial? I don't recall any outcry that he didn't get years of appeals before he was executed.

Loretta J. Willits, Baltimore

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