Advertisement

Nothing changes your mind on the death penalty like watching an execution

Nothing changes your mind on the death penalty like watching an execution
The lethal-injection gurney is removed from the death penalty chamber at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California on March 13. (Associated Press)

To the editor: Kudos to Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a moratorium on executions in California.

I was a witness at an execution in Florida. The condemned man had brutally murdered a young boy waiting for a school bus early one morning. When I entered the room to watch the execution, I was in favor of the death penalty. After watching this state-sponsored brutality by electric chair, I was firmly against the death penalty.

Advertisement

Having written about capital punishment and visited Florida State Prison as well as county lock-ups as a reporter, I can assure you life in prison, for me, would be the ultimate torture. Yes, murder is wrong and always terrible, and so is state-sponsored killing.

Ellen Williams, Carlsbad

..

To the editor: I agree that the death penalty should stop; I do not agree that Newsom’s executive order placing a moratorium on executions is a good way to achieve this goal.

I agree that border security is important and may include a physical wall; I do not agree that President Trump’s emergency order is the way to reach a reasonable policy on this issue.

I agree that young people brought here as children and who have lived an honest and productive life should have a pathway to citizenship; I do not agree that President Obama’s executive order was a good way to move toward achieving this.

Unless those along the entire political spectrum see that limiting executive power is vital to democracy, we will see a gradual growth of that power.

Steve Murray, Huntington Beach

..

To the editor: In one fell swoop, Newsom has greatly disrespected a diverse group of people: the legislators who enacted the laws, the juries that convicted and sentenced the murderers to death, the judicial branch that oversaw the trials and sentencing, the slaughtered victims who no longer have a voice, the family and loved ones of those victims, and the voters of California who recently decided to retain the death penalty and make it more efficient.

If you ever wondered what one-party rule in a state might look like, this is a pretty good snapshot of what the future holds.

My deepest sympathies to the victims’ families who continue to have to long for a justice that, in all likelihood now, will never come.

Andrew Harvey, Pasadena

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement