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Friday, Apr 18, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Incidental to the sentence


Incidental to the sentence

I find myself agreeing with John Grant in his commentary “Cruel and unusual punishment? No. Justice delivered” (Other Views, Jan. 24). His summary essentially lets it be known he does not take much exception to the possibility that during the execution of Dennis McGuire by the state Dennis felt some pain, though Grant said it was pain he considers not in the category of “cruel and unusual punishment.” Rightfully so — after the brutality of the death of the victim, Joy Stewart, whom McGuire raped and brutally stabbed, the pain to McGuire was relatively brief.

When criminals throughout the history of America commit brutal and heinous crimes against members of society, such as Dr. H.H. Holmes, who built a torture chamber that he used to inflict horrific pain with acid vats, greased chutes and other devices, to torture women he captured and then brutally killed, I feel no guilt about the pain these purveyors of brutality may feel for a limited time during execution. To me, it is incidental to the sentence they have earned.

David Heckman


Family’s pain

After having read John Grant’s column, I wonder if the “cruel and unusual punishment” should have been allotted to the family of Joy Stewart for having to endure the 25 years it took for the sentence to be finally carried out. Had I, being a strong proponent of capital punishment, been a member of the Stewart family, I would not have felt for one minute that Dennis McGuire’s punishment was any less cruel than what his victim must surely have suffered.

Susan Sams


Pot’s no-brainer

Regarding “The conversation we’re not having” (Other Views, Jan. 24) by Karen Bailey:

I’m very sorry for the loss of Mrs. Bailey’s son, but the reasoning she applies to keeping marijuana illegal is flawed. Those are the very reasons we should legalize it. It would be less available to teenagers, and regulated. Studies in the Netherlands, where it has been sold in shops for many years now, show a reduction in underage use. In this country, when a pot dealer sells to an underage buyer, that buyer will likely sell it to kids his age or younger. Also, use of harder drugs has been greatly reduced there because pot smokers who can buy it legally are not exposed to harder drugs.

The FDA would also be able to regulate it if it were legal. Throw in the medical benefits, increased jail space for violent criminals, enormous tax and economic benefits, and putting the murderous drug cartels out of business, and it’s a no-brainer.

John Dooley



Regarding “Groups question use of tax money for ballpark” (Metro, Jan. 23):

If Bob Buckhorn thinks running for mayor was tough, wait until the arts community and the talented women and men who lead these organizations unite to oppose his proposed $100 million “donation” for a proposed baseball stadium. This will be the biggest political mistake he has ever made. They will crush him politically. His ally on the Hillsborough County Commission, Ken Hagan, should pay attention; once they are done with Buckhorn, Hagan will be the next focus of their ire.

Dick Powers


God forbid

Regarding “Movie missiles and rudeness” (Your Views, Jan. 27): The writer’s total lack of apathy for the senseless taking of a life over a cellphone, and saying that popcorn is a missile requiring deadly force retaliation, is laughable were it not so sad. I suppose that if a young woman in a dark bar is pinched from behind, and turns and throws her martini, with olive, into the offender’s face, and the olive (missile) hits said person in the eye, then they are justified to shoot and kill this woman. God forbid if our police and soldiers started shooting people for throwing popcorn at them for civil disobedience or conflicts in foreign places. We don’t kill people for bad manners. Not in this country.

Tom Settle

Apollo Beach

What could have been

Regarding “Shouldn’t be a lifetime job” (Your Views, Jan. 25) by Albert Ash: I agree. I was re re-reading one of the many books I have on Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers recently. One of the things they all agreed about and even considered putting in our founding documents, but didn’t, was term limits. Anyone elected to serve in Washington would only serve for eight years concurrently; then they would be required to return to their homes and serve four years at their vocation, no matter what it might be. After the four years, they could then again run for office. What a refreshing thought. They foresaw politicians being in Washington for more than eight years and getting to the point of losing sight of their people’s thoughts and beliefs. This came from the old British Parliament making laws for us not knowing what was needed by the people. They felt term limits would put the politicians back among the people, and that way they would better respond to their needs.

Charles Harris