Letters to the Editor

America not that civilized

As I am about to step into the “real world” after graduating from Federal Way High School, I need to make sure that the society I live in is civilized. But as we all know, 28 out of 50 states in America have capital punishment. The government that kills their own people is not civilized.

Yes, the Supreme Court has ruled that capital punishment is constitutional because it is not cruel and it is not unusual, but I could argue with that. Nicholas Jenkins, art and literature critic, argues that lethal injection, because it is often botched, is no more humane than any of the other forms of execution that society has come to consider cruel and unusual. In his book, “The Death Penalty Controversies,” he gives three examples of lethal injections that were actually botched.

The U.S. also came close to executing innocent people. In The New York Times on June 21, 2001, there was an article (“The Confession”) about Earl Washington Jr., who grew up in rural Virginia. He was both brain-damaged and mentally retarded and liked to please. So when he found himself in police custody in 1983, he confessed to the cops of crimes he didn’t do, including burglary, rape and murder. In 1985, Mr. Washington came within nine days of being executed.

We need to make sure that America stands together as a civilized society that protects its own people, not kills them.


Federal Way

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