Opinion: ‘Thou shalt not kill’ applies to convicted murderers too

Death row exonerees from across the nation hold signs showing the number of years they were wrongly imprisoned as they listen to Mike Farrell at a Prop. 62 campaign event.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I concur with actor Mike Farrell. The many killings — intentional and unintentional — perpetrated by citizens do not justify capital punishment. An advanced society should follow the ancient commandment: Thou shalt not kill. (“How ‘MASH’ actor Mike Farrell became a leading voice against the death penalty in California,” Oct. 11)

Convicted murderers should not be put to death for several reasons. Some are later found to be not guilty. The others should spend the rest of their natural lives contemplating what they have done. Death would mercifully free them from that grim possibility.

Yes, some convicted murderers will convince themselves they were justified in committing their terrible crimes. But in discussions and classes in prison, those who are truly guilty will have reminder after reminder.

Les Boston, Sherman Oaks



To the editor: San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos states that Farrell “is not in the justice system,” that “he doesn’t see what we do everyday.” Tami Alexander is quoted as saying that Farrell “doesn’t have a dog in the fight.”

I’m sure Ramos has a very difficult, emotional job with what he sees and does. I’m sure Alexander and her family are still in pain from the loss of her mother-in-law, and any feeling person would be able to feel their pain and hurt.

But, when the state executes a person, it doesn’t do so solely for Ramos or the Alexander family. It executes for the people of the state of California. So we do have a dog in this fight, and we do get to make these choices by voting and participating and helping make these difficult life-and-death decisions.


This November, I will be voting against the death penalty, which has proved to be expensive, arbitrary, racist and unworkable.

Larry Margo, Valley Village

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