Dr. Daniel Georges-Abeyie's bridge to a "brave new world" would be paved with the families of torture/murder victims ("A Quiet Voice Against the Death Penalty," Michael Kiefer, October 3). The kin of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims twisted in the wind while Dahmer got several thousand dollars from "well" wishers. They were stopped by proof (Dahmer's killer) that imprisonment does not stop harassment and violence against guards, inmates and victims' families--such as the Klaases.
Does Georges-Abeyie feel that "Sister" Susan Sarandon's baby-sitting death rowers year after year would make death row more pleasant than escape-proof? Torturer/murderer Richard Ramirez will bask in the privilege of marriage while about a quarter-million Americans will be murdered before ten years of appeals end in his execution.
That we only have a couple of thousand persons on death row proves our reluctance to execute any but the most damaging of murderers. To hint that the 80 percent of us who approve of executions are uncivilized scoffs at the 18- and 20-year-olds FDR sent into harm's way at Pearl Harbor and Normandy.
Finally, as science improves genetic identification and speeds fingerprint proof, the rarity of an innocent person being executed is dwarfed by our chances of getting killed driving to work.
If Dr. Daniel Georges-Abeyie desires to spend his time speaking out about cruel and unusual punishment, maybe he should begin by spending less time doing sit-ups and more time educating primary and secondary education students who are the most at risk for procuring a death penalty.
Thanks, New Times, for the well-written piece on capital punishment. I think in all fairness we should now hear from the families who suffered as victims of the crimes committed by people such as Richard Allen Davis in California. I wonder what their opinion is. Whatever happened to responsibility? You do the crime, you pay the fine. Why do the victims always pay?
I think that the death of Tupac Shakur was shocking to everyone and a real letdown ("Live by the Gun . . . ," Dave Wielenga, October 3). Sooner or later, his time was going to come. I hate the last video that he came out with because it reminds us of his tragic death. None of this was called for.
I hate that it took someone famous and important in the world to show people that killing isn't the answer. Where does gangbanging get you? Nowhere. All eyes are on Tupac. We will miss you and see you when it is our time.
Just the Facts, Ma'am
Golly, I just knew the Fifester was innocent all along! New Times' flow chart shows very well just how easily we can be misled by the facts. And if professional journalists can be misled, just think of how the rest of humanity could make errors in judgment based on the facts ("Cosmic Conspiracy," October 10).
I'll just bet that all those hardworking people without pension funds can now begin looking for the real thief of their retirement dreams (sort of like O.J. Simpson looking for the real murderer of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman on golf courses around the world).
And, oooooo, that Lou Grubb--I always knew there was something spooky and sinister about his soft-spoken adoration of old golf goodies mentioned during his advertisements.
No wonder New Times gets all those awards ("Correction and Apology," John Mecklin, October 10). Great writing!
I have a basic problem with the smoking ban in Mesa and the so-called "right to clean air": What about car pollution ("Some Hacked-Off Smokers," Terry Greene Sterling, October 3)? While a minority of the population smokes, almost everybody drives a car with no regard whatsoever to the environment.
What about barbecue grills, gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, diesel trucks passing through, fireplaces in winter, industry, etc.?
What irony to call this "the right to clean air" while a brown cloud looms overhead! What ignorance on the other hand to be more concerned about money than about health. The ban seems like the right measure applied in the wrong place.
He Said, She Said
For M. V. Moorhead's information, fantasies of two women together are not "for men only," despite that this predilection is so well-known in the male sex ("Gun Molls in Love," October 10). It also happens to be a favorite fantasy of women as well. I guess we're all more "polymorphously perverse" than we let on.
Personally, I applaud the imaginative depiction of all kinds of characters in film, whatever their sexual preference.
The Young and the Ruthless
I enjoyed the article written by the fourth-grader about his getting to see President Bill Clinton and Republican contender Bob Dole (Screed, September 26). All except one part of it.
It is a shame that Sheriff Joke has this young man convinced that all persons in prison/jail are so mean and vicious that they will kill and maim just for the hell of it. This is what Sheriff Joke tells everyone, and I guess he, or the young man's parents, has so ingrained in his mind how great Sheriff Joke is that he actually believes it. Sheriff Joke should inform this young man that there is one basic fact that he, the sheriff, has forgotten.
Some of the people who reside in Tent City are not as bad as the Joke makes them out to be. Someone should inform this lad that everyone is a human being and everyone deserves to be treated like a human being, and that Sheriff Joke does not practice that aspect of life.
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Editor's note: Peter Gilstrap, the author of the column written in the voice of a fourth-grader, is actually a fully formed adult. Nonetheless, he has been grounded.
Reeling in the Ears
The article about Harkins Theatres was interesting and amusing ("Lobe, American Style," Dewey Webb, July 25). As a former resident of Tempe, I doubt that people in the Phoenix area have to be protected from male earrings! I now live in Southern California, and earrings are a common sight on males.
Ronald D. Steinbach