Re “A Road Into Minds of Murderers,” Commentary, Jan. 14: Lewis Yablonsky’s proposal should be taken up seriously by the Congress. We stand alone among the advanced and civilized nations in continuing the death penalty and are undeterred by the resulting opprobrium of others. Politicians have exploited the people’s urge for retribution rather than seeking a humane way of dealing with murderers, which would benefit society over the long haul.
Yablonsky’s suggestion of isolating and studying such inmates for the causes of their murderous behavior is very appealing. As the nation approaches the next election, perhaps some of the candidates, presidential and others, will see fit to address this issue.
Yablonsky wants the feds to build a research facility where murderers can be studied to discover the cause of their homicidal behavior. Yablonsky has interviewed thousands of violent offenders over the course of the past half-century. If he hasn’t yet found that the answer to his question is something the rest of us call evil, I’m afraid that he never will. For my part, I share his dream of a more compassionate American society. The difference is that I would begin by executing those psychopaths on death row who are outliving the rest of us while spending their time watching TV, working out in the weight room and conning the likes of the good professor.