Saturday, May 10, 2008

Murder and the death penalty

In this last week my feelings on the death penalty have been challenged.

About a week ago, my 77-year-old sister was murdered and her 78-year-old husband was wounded as they made their 13th and last stop as Meals on Wheels volunteers. A day later a suspect was captured in Norfolk, Va.
When I was a youth, I was very much pro-death penalty. 4 different levels of academia saw me write term papers on this topic.

But in recent years, I have seen the behavior of prosecutors here in Illinois (particularly in DuPage County).

They have rushed to judgment, been guilty of withholding exculpatory evidence and failed to show remorse when DNA evidence has cleared those on death row (some hours away from execution).

So I've gradually come to oppose the death penalty in most cases (the exception being for the crime of incompetence for high school and college administrators).

So now that my sweet sister has met an untimely death, has this again changed my mind? No.

The death penalty option has been abused so often by ambitious prosecutors anxious to put another notch on their belts as they prepare to run for higher office that they must be denied this punishment optioneven for the obviously guilty.

John Anderson----Beach Park

(source: Letter to the Editor, Chicago Tribune)

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