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Lax Enforcement of Capital Punishment

February 15, 2004

Re "Convicted Killer Gets Last-Minute Reprieve," Feb. 10:

I was never certain that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to the U.S., but I am certain that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is a dire threat to our justice system. After 21 years, this case has been reviewed by experts from both the defense and prosecution, and the evidence is overwhelming in the guilt of Kevin Cooper in the grisly murder of four innocent people. But the ultraliberal judges of the 9th Circuit need to see additional proof.

Give me a break! The two children and the parents who were slaughtered by this coldblooded killer do not have appeal rights. The Times reported that Cooper's appeal was supported by some of Hollywood's finest. I wonder where the finest were when the four victims were interred in the cold, damp ground.

Ed Brooks

Ridgecrest

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I wonder if the 9th Circuit Court has given a thought to whether an eleventh-hour stay of execution constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" for both the condemned and his victims' survivors.

Arden Acord

La Crescenta

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Some states do not carry out capital punishment, and other states (except Texas and Florida) execute so few inmates now on death row that, for all practical purposes, the death penalty is obsolete. The few who are finally executed will be on death row about 20 years after their trial verdict. When the date is set, anti-death penalty protesters will show up at the governor's home and at the court steps. Motions will be filed. Delays will be granted. Since most Western countries have banned executions, and most states never carry out executions, it is time to drop the charade. If capital punishment cannot be meted out in a timely manner after careful scrutiny, then drop it. The murder rate will not be affected.

I support the execution of murderers, but since it rarely is applied, why bother?

Sol Taylor

Sherman Oaks

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