Executions are an anachronism

March 24, 2012

In today's Sun the column by Dan Rodricks was right on the mark regarding Maryland's outdated adherence to state executions ("Floggings, no — lethal injection, yes?" March 22). He quotes a book by University of Baltimore law professor John D. Bessler indicating that some of our Founding Fathers, such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, opposed executions. They were apparently more humane 200 years ago than we are now.

How we have progressed since then, still intent on killing people! Most of the civilized countries in the world, including those in Western Europe, have given up state executions, but not us in Maryland, even though is no solid evidence that state executions deter crime. In fact, the reverse is true. The FBI Uniform Crime Reports indicate that in every year states without the death penalty have a lower average homicide rate than in states that still perform executions.

Samuel Stayton, Columbia

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