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Cruel and unusual?

September 27, 2009

Re "Is a second execution effort cruel?," Sept. 19, and "Hanging by a hair," Editorial, Sept. 21

The decision to execute a man is not a quick and rushed judgment. Even the decision of the prosecutor to seek the death penalty is well thought out and calculated. The fact that corrections officers were not able to find a vein should not entitle Romell Broom to escape the punishment he deserves.

There is nothing cruel and unusual about following a court's order, and the fact that this is leading to renewed concerns about the death penalty is unbelievable.

There is no reason for people to think about getting rid of the use of lethal injections. What would be the alternative? Instead, all of our efforts should go into making sure a situation like this doesn't happen again.

Kevin Ian Dobkin

Champaign, Ill.

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Carol Williams' article on the failure of Broom's execution by lethal injection illustrates the foolishness of this method.

Aside from the expensive equipment and facilities needed for this type of execution, it raises the need for a more dispassionate look at the problem of state-mandated death.

Why do we have to be so surgical and caring about putting a murderer to death when he or she may have caused his victim untold pain and suffering? If we are going to execute the condemned, let's get on with it.

Tom Pincu

Los Angeles

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I am surprised that we are discussing the ethics of execution. People are condemned to death only for the most heinous crime, and only after long legal debate in courts, where there are learned legal authorities.

It is immaterial what execution method is adopted; every known method of execution can fail. That does not mean that the gravity of the condemned person's crime will decrease.

Perhaps a society should not have execution, but if it does, there should be no second thoughts.

Paramjit Singh

Lancaster

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It was right for The Times to call out the execution-happy state of Texas for its fatal error in the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham.

But your feeble conclusion -- that the federal government should invest in "rigorous research ... to standardize techniques and application" in forensics -- misses the moral of the story by a mile.

Capital punishment inevitably results in innocent people being murdered by "we the people," and it must be abolished.

Jess Winfield

Los Angeles

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I was reminded of the horrors of facing execution after reading this story. After being tormented for almost 2 1/2 hours, this man in the botched execution was allowed to live -- so he could go through it again?

If that is not cruel and unusual punishment, I don't know what is.

We are learning that there is no good, clean way to take someone's life. The death penalty is outdated and unnecessary.

The public can be safe if we use a permanent incarceration policy for convicted criminals, and we can join the rest of civilized society.

Veda Veach

Culver City

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