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James Holmes gets a punishment worse than death: life in prison

To the editor: Most people assume that death is the ultimate penalty for the worst crimes. I disagree. ("'Get the defendant out of my courtroom,' judge says in sentencing James Holmes," Aug. 26)

Life imprisonment with no possibility of parole seems to be worse. It requires the perpetrator to spend his whole life in contemplation of what he has done. Death frees him from any sense of guilt or responsibility.

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Consider our reactions to the death of those we love: The person who has died has no more feelings of any kind. The grief is ours; what we grieve for is our own sense of loss.

James Holmes will be treated for his mental illness and may grasp more fully the awfulness of his acts. If he were to be put to death, he would escape all that.

Donald Schwartz, Los Angeles

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