Bill Lucero was on the Texas Journey of Hope
My letter to the editor:
c/o Topeka Capital-Journal
616 SE Jefferson Av
Topeka KS 66607
To the Editor:
Move over California! Your place as trend leader has been replaced by the Garden State of New Jersey! Governor Corzine's signature of the law replacing the death penalty with life without parole is a historic beginning of the end of capital punishment in this country. Very soon Maryland will follow New Jersey's lead; many other states will likely do the same.
Abolishing the death penalty in Trenton came about because the public there got tired of the deceptions and falsehoods promised by the so called "law and order" political opportunists.
Knowledgeable District Attorneys pointed out how those few capital cases drained their resources from being able to provide full services to their respective constituencies. Police officers observed that the death penalty never served as an effective deterrent to murder. Many murder victims' family members spoke of their prolonged suffering and stress due to the increased press exposure related to capital cases. And Legislative researchers pointed to the increased costs of trials and appeals of capital defendants awaiting execution without much likelihood of execution.
Unfortunately all of those arguments which are equally applicable to Kansas have not moved our Legislature to take similar action yet. And Kansas' experience with capital punishment continues to be plagued with prosecutorial misconduct, judicial error, arbitrariness, covert racism, jury misconduct, withheld evidence and ineffective counsel.
Kansas Legislators need to review those issues in earnest during the next session. Any action short of replicating New Jersey's leadership will be a sad commentary of our continued "mugwumpism".
Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation