Letters to the Editor: Considering the Cost of the Death Penalty

I generally agree with David Dozier’s comments about the death penalty (Open Mic, Feb. 10). However, like everything else in life it is mostly, but not entirely, a black-and-white issue.

Consider the case of Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. Or of Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 young men and then dismembered and cannibalized their bodies. McVeigh was executed. Dahmer was sentenced to 17 consecutive terms of life imprisonment, and was murdered by a fellow prisoner.

Was it wrong to execute McVeigh? Was it right to spare Dahmer the death penalty? For that matter, is life imprisonment cruel and unusual punishment? Unless you’re opposed to one person killing another under any circumstances—even an armed intruder in your home or a soldier on the battlefield—you should acknowledge that the punishment for some murders needs to be assessed on an individual basis.

Stanton Klose, San Rafael

Represent Us

Our democracy grants outsized power to a minority of its people by giving sparsely populated states the same Senate representation as heavily populated states like California. Republicans have been exploiting this inequity for decades and state legislatures in places like Georgia, Texas and Arizona are even now are pushing through voter suppression laws in to create obstacles to voting, mostly affecting people of color and those with little means.

It’s time to fix this and Congress can do so by passing S.1, the For the People Act. S.1 addresses corruption, buying elections, election security, expanding voting rights and more. It’s time to redistribute power throughout this great Country by giving everyone a voice, regardless of who they are, where they live and what their means. The House has already passed its version of this act, now the Senate must pass S.1, the For the People Act, to make things right for our democracy and our Country.

Susan Stanger, Mill Valley

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