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The Pros and Cons of Death Row

March 29, 1992

Re "As April 21 Nears, the Executioner's Song Grows Louder," (March 19): Tim Rutten's article is an eloquent argument for the abolition of the death penalty in California.

History has proven time and time again that capital punishment serves no societal purpose and that in reality the death penalty is a lottery in which only the poor, ill-represented, emotionally and mentally disturbed, juveniles and minorities are chosen to die.

The blood thirst surrounding the race to resume executions in California is the height of political irresponsibility, as exemplified by state Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren's remark that the Harris case isn't "a 100% guaranteed slam dunk."

The death penalty is the ultimate human-rights abuse. No state or federal government has a right to take a life. Lead us into the future, Gov. Wilson, protect us from violent crime, seek solutions to the root cause of the violence, but don't kill in our names.

ROGER RATHMAN

Amnesty International U.S.A.

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