Readers React

What to do about death row

To the edtior: In a curious decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, (“Despite vote, shift is felt on death penalty,” June 30) the justices should be charged with practicing medicine without a license.

The use of midazolam for lethal injection is medically and pharmaceutically unacceptable. As a gastroenterologist performing endoscopies for more than 40 years, I used midazolam for “conscious sedation.” It is a very safe drug without serious respiratory and cardiovascular depression.

I am not surprised by its inadequacy for lethal injection. The justices should discuss basic pharmacology with those who are knowledgeable about the drugs.

Jerome Helman, M.D., Venice


To the editor: The inmates on death row in California are there for committing the most heinous imaginable killings of innocent people, children and the helpless elderly, not to mention blatant assassinations of many productive citizens.

Gov. Jerry Brown should not think twice before authorizing lethal injections. (“Brown under pressure on lethal injection,” June 30) Especially, keep in mind the recent escape of killers in New York and the subsequent repeat killings by some parolees.

Put the pedal to the metal, governor, ASAP.

Michael L. Friedman, M.D., Torrance


To the editor: Someone tell Justice Stephen G. Breyer that murdering an innocent human being is also “unfair, cruel and unusual.”

His job is to interpret the Constitution as it applies to the enacted laws and keep his opinions to himself. For those who argue that the death penalty is not a deterrent, why then is everyone on death row fighting like hell to not be executed?

Marcus Kourtjian, Northridge


To the editor: I feel compelled to join Breyer in his outcry against capital punishment. How can we, as civilized citizens, condone legalized murder?

The contradiction is uncanny. It's wrong to kill another, except when it is done by the state?

Peggy A. Levine, Santa Monica

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