Read research on death penalty
If Kansas lawmakers are determined to be thorough and objective about the current death penalty legislation, then it is imperative that they read carefully the research done by Rachel King in her book “Don’t Kill in Our Names.”
King writes: “In theory, the death penalty is the punishment reserved for those people who commit the most heinous murders. In practice, it is meted out to those who are the most vulnerable and least powerful.”
The people in this book have sometimes been viewed as either saints or lunatics, but they are ordinary people who believe the death penalty is a form of social violence that only repeats and perpetuates the violence that claimed their loved ones’ lives.
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The author confesses in her preface that the project “turned into something much more than a book about the death penalty. The people in this book are models of how to live.” They demonstrate the power of forgiveness and compassion in helping a person heal from tragedy. Ultimately, this is a book about hope.
There are no compelling reasons for capital punishment. A 2003 audit found death penalty cases cost the state 70 percent more than cases in which the death penalty is not sought.
End the death penalty.
DONALD and ELEANOR KAUFMAN
Many lives from one?
The organ donor shortage could be eliminated, billions of tax dollars per year could be put to better use, violent crime rates would be reduced, and thousands of lives could be saved and medical research advanced if the death penalty were replaced with a national “involuntary organ donor law.” This would replace the negative life-for-a-life philosophy with a positive many-lives-from-one-life philosophy. What say ye?
ROSS D. RASH
Not paying attention
The mess in Kansas state government results from most of the people floating from day to day, gaping and gawking at television hour after hour instead of paying attention to what the Legislature is doing in Topeka. They do not understand the Legislature. It is not taught in our schools.
WILLIAM T. DAVITT
Condemn GOP hatred
A waitress suggested Gov. Sam Brownback “tip the schools” instead of tipping her, and Clay Barker, the head of the Kansas GOP, responded that she had revealed her “arrogant stupidity and utter ignorance” (May 5 Now Consider This).
Barker had never met the waitress, yet he saw fit to viciously attack her. For one to be so mean-spirited, there must be a shadow on one’s soul.
If only Barker were an anomaly, atypical of Republican politics. Sadly, he is not. In fact, the right wing, which has complete control of the Kansas Republican Party, is indistinguishable from Barker.
It is time – past time – for the good people of Kansas to condemn such hatred and mean-spiritedness. It is time for the voters to reject such politics.
I proudly sign my name to this letter so that Barker and like-minded Republicans can vent their loathing and animosity to me personally. For me to be the target of their hatred will be a badge of honor.
DONALD A. O’CONNOR
Love of country
While our present administration is busy tearing our country down, apologizing to our enemies for “our atrocities” against them, we have the story of Col. Gail Halvorsen, our American hero, who took it upon himself to drop gum and candy over Berlin (“Meeting is sweet for Wichitan, WW II pilot,” May 15 Eagle). And then the girl who 67 years later got to meet her hero. This is what America is all about.
Thank you, Col. Halvorsen, for showing us, including this administration, just what our soldiers’ “love of country” has done for millions of people across the globe. May God always bless you.
Not going anywhere
Not that anyone gives a hoot, but I am benignly troubled by how the awkward phrase “going to” is so commonly used when nobody or anything is going anywhere.
For example, some people say “It is going to rain tonight” instead of “It will rain tonight.” To say “I want to (or I must or I should) eat less” is far more informative and interesting than “I am going to eat less.”
It is common to read and hear such clumsy statements. A person on a talk show recently said: “We are going to arm them; we are going to feed them; we are going to give them logistical support.”
Now I am going to end – oops – I mean, now I will end my letter.
DAVID J. GUDEMAN
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