12:00 PM EST, February 14, 2013
Marylanders should thank The Sun for showing the faces of those convicted murderers and describing their killings ("Death row: Should they die for their crimes?" Feb. 10). They are only alive today because Gov. Martin O'Malley has not acted to give them the penalty mandated by their trial and the law, giving them additional life with his countless delays. These people are alive today only because the same justice system that death penalty opponents point to as unfairly sentencing them is the same justice system treating their victims and victims' families so unfairly by keeping them alive.
But I also don't think it's fair and unbiased to present the changed view of one opposing the death sentence when that person is a sister of one of the five murderers. Responding to her view, I think that the murderer should think of the impact on his family first before killing the members of another family.
The penalty for murder should not be a roof over your head, free health care and three square meals a day to ensure there is no "cruel and unusual punishment." There will be no repeat offenders if these sentences are carried out for the five individuals. Can death penalty opponents claim that for their preference of life without parole for murderers who will then be a threat with nothing to lose to those entrusted to watch over them? Why aren't their arguments concerning the failure of the justice system and racial disparity of sentencing applicable to the sentence of life without parole?
President Barack Obama can order, without trial, the death of a citizen residing in another country who threatens us, but we can't follow through with the same sentence in this country after a trial for one who has actually killed a U.S. citizen?
Charles Herr, Baltimore
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