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Death Penalty Controversy

January 28, 1990

I am amazed at all of the editorial hand-wringing against capital punishment ("An Issue of Morality," Jan. 22) and not even a mention of the living victims of these murderers. The violent loss of life affects the family and friends of the victims for years, if not for their lifetimes. The Times would like to spare the death penalty so these murderers can read, lift weights, eat three squares a day and hang out with their own kind at a cost of $40,000 a year per bad guy.

The editorial reports that there are 2,000 inmates on death row across the country. My calculators tells me that it would cost the taxpayers $80 million a year to house and feed Robert Alton Harris and his buddies for life.

I must agree with The Times that the death penalty does not deter crime. It is not supposed to. It is to get even, no more and no less. Harris killed those two boys and now it is time to get even. And while we are at it how about an editorial on the plight of the victims' families and friends. I've had enough tears for the murderers.

JOHN SIZER

Idyllwild

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