Time to abolish death penalty
Given Kansas’ severe fiscal crisis, now is the time to abolish the death penalty. The 2014 Death Penalty Advisory Committee report to the Kansas Judicial Council states that it costs four times more to seek the death penalty than when the death penalty is not sought.
Mistakes in the criminal justice process are sometimes uncovered long after an original death sentence. It is unwise for the Legislature to flirt with cutting costs by shortening the trial phase and appeals process.
The death penalty is unnecessary. A life sentence without parole is an alternative that both protects the citizens from dangerous criminals and inflicts a severe punishment on those who commit serious crimes. Scientific evidence does not support that the death penalty is a deterrent.
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Testimony from some victims’ families is that a non-death penalty trial, with the certainty of a life sentence without parole, removes the endless attention on killers in death penalty trials and appeals, enabling a victim’s family to heal more quickly.
Though Kansans are not of one mind on capital punishment, most would agree with the presumption against taking the life of another human being. For the state to cross that line and take a human life intentionally is a momentous act that is justified only for compelling reasons. There are no compelling reasons for the death penalty.
DUANE K. FRIESEN
This past weekend I was at home watching news coverage of the horrific assassinations of two New York City police officers. I couldn’t help but think there is so much more we as a community can do to support and encourage our law enforcement.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and the Wichita Police Department are filled with fantastic individuals who put their lives on the line for us daily. How often do we really support them or thank them for their service? Do we recognize the sacrifices they and their families make to keep us and our families safe? The events in New York and the ongoing battle in neighboring Missouri make my wife and me more resolved to support our local law enforcement agencies. They have earned the right to be respected.
The size and scope of government are a hot topic today, but there is no greater function of the government – at all levels – than public safety. The American public knows this, and it is embedded in the foundation of our government. We are blessed to live in a wonderful community. But if the men and women in uniform who protect us with their lives each and every day can’t safely do their jobs, then shame on us as a society.
Don’t end embargo
I read that Kansas Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts are willing to go along with President Obama to break the Cuba embargo to sell Kansas wheat to Cuba (Dec. 23 Eagle). They are going against the will of many of their Republican colleagues in Congress and the will of those who elected them.
As a Republican Kansan, I say don’t do business with communist dictators at home or abroad.
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