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Death penalty facts overlooked

Reader Input
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Re: “Death penalty increases safety,” (Rich DeShon, Reader Input, Nov. 14): My first response was “where do I start?” His musings are not based upon any facts, most likely because there are none to support his opinion. He does bring up one fact indicating that the state has an average cost of $47,000 per inmate. This figure does not apply to those incarcerated on death row which is a much higher figure. It does not take into consideration the automatic appeals that drain the judicial system of both time and money. Contrary to Mr. DeShon, defense attorneys have no power to speed up death penalty appeals which are mandated by the state judicial system. He discusses the moral high ground of killing fellow human beings for the sake of the victims. Does that moral high ground apply to the thousands of innocent people that we have killed by mistake under the death penalty system? This is indeed a “fact” that has been revealed through the use of DNA evidence. Lastly, there has never been a study that supports the proposition that the death penalty is a deterrent. Contrary to Mr. DeShon’s self-serving opinion that all murders are perpetrated by drug users, studies show that most murderers know or are related to their victims, which indicates to any normal thinking person that these are crimes based on familiarity, not robbery, burglary or car thefts. PATRICK R. LITTLE, Auburn