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Death Penalty Controversy--Cruel Punishment or Justice?

April 01, 1990

In response to those that describe the death penalty as cruel punishment and brutalizing for society, I suggest otherwise. We are bombarded by escalating crime statistics while faced with the recurrent specter of felons, including murderers, brought before parole boards with the chance of imminent release. This, in my mind, is the real brutality.

I do think most agree with the experts that the death penalty doesn't deter crime (except in the individual being executed). However, in an increasingly violent society in which the average citizen often feels victimized by the vicious actions of others and compromised by a sense of few consequences for violent behavior, the death penalty returns to society a measure of control and feeling of justice served. With execution, neither society at large nor victims of violence need seek retribution and can thus feel a certain relief and release to proceed with their lives.

Far from brutalizing society as some critics charge, executions serve a constructive purpose by taming the beast within and laying to rest our need for revenge.

GEORGE L. CHAPPELL

Ventura

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