The reason I submitted the editorial were two-fold. First, it is extremely tiring to continually listen to the Biblically inept quote “an eye for an eye” to justify killing. Second, I have thought long and hard but cannot wrap my mind around a person who will vehemently oppose abortion yet favor the death penalty. Let us never forget that the one human being in the history of our world who was the most innocent of all was executed.

A great book has a line that says, “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”

The recent response to my editorial mentioned “innocence versus guilt.” How convenient an explanation. In fact, in my experience many views and beliefs, how things are justified in the mind, rely on convenience. It saddens me that I once fell into this category. You are likely saying that, in your opinion, those on death row deserve to die. Personally, it would be tragic for me to believe that someone, anyone, no matter what they have done, deserves to die.

Let us explore the facts. Did you know that 39 people have been executed in the U.S. in the face of evidence of innocence or serious doubt about guilt? Perhaps one might think it is cheaper to execute somebody than keep them in prison for life. The fact is that it is not just slightly more expensive to kill an inmate, the cost is overwhelming. Perhaps suffering is an issue, you want them to suffer. There is a German term for this, schadenfreude. It is undeniable that any person who spends the remainder of one’s life in maximum security anywhere did in fact suffer inexplicably.

I respect that you had the guts to say something, Mr. Brown. I am a person who will stand up for what I believe in at whatever personal cost. My hope is that you will dignify a response.

Patrick McDermott

Billings

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