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Justice Blackmun

March 07, 1994

Violence and vengeance are as American as apple pie. Why else do we have this love affair with the death penalty? I commend Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun for his stand in opposition to capital punishment (Feb. 23). The death penalty has no place in civilized society. It has been proven not to be a deterrent. It is more expensive than keeping a person in prison for life when all the costs of trials, retrials and petitions are considered. It is discriminatory. We reserve the death penalty for poor people, for minorities, and for the mentally ill and mentally retarded. Rich people are never executed.

Murderers should be kept behind bars. No opponent of capital punishment wants them free in society.

JEAN KOCH

Los Angeles

* Blackmun is a supreme hypocrite! Here we have a man that is personally responsible for the death of over 30 million pre-born humans via the Roe vs. Wade declaring that he is opposed to capital punishment! To say that it is OK to take the life of an innocent, defenseless human beings while at the same time mass murderers have the right to live is absolutely beyond comprehension.

HARRY H. WILSON

Cerritos

* Hurrah for Blackmun's rejection of our inhuman and unconstitutional death penalty! By contrast, Justice Antonin Scalia rationalizes his conviction in favor of that system with its vengeful and premeditated killings.

Apart from the likelihood that it will cause an innocent person to be killed, capital punishment is unnecessary and, for that reason alone, is cruel and unusual.

NAIDU PERMAUL

Pacific Palisades

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