Letters to the Editor

Death penalty has a moral issue


One can debate the morality of the death penalty or whether it acts as a deterrent to heinous crimes. (I happen to believe it can be justified on moral grounds and would act as a deterrent if it represented a real threat.)

However, there is nothing “moral” about our state’s legal system preventing prosecutors from seeking the death penalty because of additional costs. It has very little to do with the guilt or innocence of the accused or how heinous the act. It is more a case of defense lawyers asking and getting long delays and “billable” hours from judges, many of whom owe their election to campaign support from lawyers.

A perfect example is our legal system’s inability to get “justice” for the 2007 murder of six relatives of one of the accused perpetrators. Surely no one questions their guilt. How long can it possibly take to determine if there were some extenuating circumstances leading to the atrocity that might merit a lesser penalty?

Instead the defense team’s constant appeals to agreeable judges have resulted in more than six years of $7 million spent with no trial date. How is that “moral”?

Bill Hirt, Bellevue

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