Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Death Penalty and the Innocent

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Death Penalty and the Innocent

Article excerpt

The article "Supreme Court Limits Death-Penalty Appeals," Jan. 27, is disturbing; it describes an innocent man's fight to get off death row. It is devastating to think that he will be put to death for something that he did not do. It is even more devastating that society is trying to justify killing him, and I find it hard to believe that these rules could lead to the killing of an innocent man. In effect, the man is being accused of doing exactly what the Supreme Court is doing to him.

I strongly believe that killing an innocent man is murder, whether he is killed by the Supreme Court or by a hardened criminal. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote: "The execution of a person who can show that he is innocent comes perilously close to murder." It doesn't just come close to murder; it is murder. Becky Howie, Rexburg, Idaho

If as the article claims, there have been 23 executions in this century of the clearly innocent, how can executions continue to be justified? The only exception might be a confession of guilt and a request for execution, as is the case in a recent hanging. Even there, the state's hand remains bloody. Richard J. Furnoy, Loomis, Calif. BAs for NBAs

The sports article "Shaq Sets the House on Fire," Jan. 25, talks very highly of Shaquille O'Neal and his superstar performance as a rookie in the National Basketball Association. Today the NBA is drafting younger, faster, bigger, and more agile players. This is great for coaches and fans, but the key word is "younger." Do the young players in the NBA have college degrees for a future career? Some may, but what about Moses Malone, who entered the NBA after high school; or Michael Jordan, who left college early to play professional basketball?

It's great that Dr. …

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