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Justice Unserved In the 1961 Execution of Pvt. John Bennett

October 08, 2000

When I began reading the article on the fate of Pvt. John Bennett ("The Last Military Execution," by Richard A. Serrano, Sept. 10), I was reminded of the decision to desegregate the U.S. Army in 1948. As I read on, I decided that the 1948 act had no bearing on what I was reading. Bennett's death would not have occurred if his skin had been pale like mine. It never has been possible for what we call "people of color" to be treated as equals. Equality must originate in the human heart, not in man-made laws.

Mick Mandeville

San Gabriel


I applaud Serrano for his candid look into Bennett's execution. Bennett performed the ugly crime of rape, but spared the girl her life. Six white men who participated in killings were all found guilty. But Bennett got the death sentence. Is this fair?

Apparently John F. Kennedy thought so. God forbid that our president--who had the power, strength and pleasure to decide one's fate--should be humiliated by Russia's ability to beat the U.S. into space. Was space a priority over a man's life? Clearly, it was.

Christine Cecchini


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