Repeal, replace death penalty
The Legislature is considering bills to repeal the death penalty and replace it with a mandatory life sentence without parole for capital murder. I encourage those who support such important legislation to take action by asking their legislators to support Senate Bill 126 and House Bill 2397.
As a Christian, I believe that all human life is sacred, and that the killing of a human being intentionally by the state is unacceptable. Add to that the chance, however small, of putting an innocent person to death, and capital punishment becomes a reprehensible policy.
The death penalty is applied in a racially discriminatory fashion and affects a disproportionate number of society’s most vulnerable people. Jesus calls us to identify with the marginalized and become their advocates.
A 2009 Death Penalty Information Center survey of 500 police chiefs ranked the use of the death penalty last among tools to reduce violent crime, and as the least efficient use of taxpayers’ money.
I acknowledge and feel deep compassion for those who have lost a loved one to violent crime. In visiting recently with the daughter of a murder victim, I learned how strongly she felt that if her dad’s murderer had been put to death, this act would not have allowed the healing she needed to find a measure of peace.
Alveda King, niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a Republican pro-life activist, could answer criticisms by Sens. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, and David Haley, D-Kansas City, of Gov. Sam Brownback’s comments in his State of the State address comparing slavery to abortion .
King has powerfully exclaimed on many occasions that abortion is a racist, genocidal act. “I look forward to the day when we can celebrate a holiday commemorating the end of the most devastating and dehumanizing practice since slavery, abortion,” she said in statement in 2008 commemorating the official end of legalized slavery throughout the United States. She also said: “The fight against abortion is a new frontier in the civil rights movement.”
I believe abortion is the primary tool in a decades-old eugenicists’ conspiracy to kill off and reduce the black population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-American women had 36 percent of the nation’s abortions in 2010, yet African-American women make up only 13 percent of the female population.
The senators should do the math and, with gratitude, affirm the truth when they hear it.
Regarding “Not extremist” (Jan. 19 Letters to the Editor): In Kansas, prior to the enactment of TRAP laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers), clinics that provide abortions were governed under rules and regulations for office-based surgery. These rules and regulations were developed and written by more than 20 medical professionals from across the state. These rules aided in regulating, in a non-prejudicial manner, all offices that offer surgery.
David Gittrich of Kansans for Life wrongly asserted that abortion providers must be regulated by anti-choice groups because physicians who do abortions just can’t follow the rules. Marginalizing and stigmatizing physicians who provide abortion care and the women who seek that care further alienates this medical specialty from mainstream medicine. This could open the door to people who operate outside the realm of legal medicine and, thereupon, take advantage of people – the Kermit Gosnells of the world. Let me be clear: By no means is Gosnell the norm in abortion care.
Anti-choice laws do little but marginalize women who want services and the physicians who practice medicine. With all the so-called anti-abortion laws that have been passed in this state, where are the results that the anti-choice folks say will come from it? The reality is that women continue to need and seek abortion care.
The anti-choice faction should lobby to invest more dollars into family planning services, well-woman care, prenatal care and sexual education. Then, just maybe, we’ll see them make a difference.
JULIE A. BURKHART
South Wind Women’s Center
GOP must change
There are some Republicans I admire. I admire President Lincoln for freeing the slaves. Today’s Republicans seem bent on hating black men, controlling women’s lives and making economic slaves of the rest of us. I admire President Teddy Roosevelt for fighting big business and monopolies and advocating unions. Today’s Republicans love big business and despise unions. I admire President Eisenhower – a humble, likable man willing to compromise. Are there any Republicans today who are humble or willing to compromise?
I have a great deal of difficulty associating today’s Republicans with the past. The party must change or become a nonentity.
The writer of “Try Afghanistan” (Jan. 21 Letters to the Editor) should research gun laws in countries other than Afghanistan. In Venezuela in 2012, then-President Hugo Chavez completely banned the commercial sale and possession of firearms to civilians. They also are banned in North Korea. Perhaps their template for such actions came from the 1938 gun law initiated by Adolf Hitler.
The letter writer is correct: There are places where people “should be very happy.”