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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Death for the death penalty
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Death for the death penalty

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Death for the death penalty

In response to T. Neal Morris’s letter (“The problem with eliminating the death penalty,” Feb. 21): There are several reasons why the death penalty should be abolished.

First and foremost, according to the DPIS (Death Penalty Information Center), since 1973 more than 170 people who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in the U.S. were exonerated. Unfortunately, this did not help Carlos DeLuna who was executed in 1989 in Texas for a crime he never committed.

Secondly, 22 states have already abolished the death penalty (hopefully Virginia will soon be one of them).

Thirdly, there is no evidence that abolishing the death penalty leads to an increase in violent crimes. In fact, studies have shown just the opposite. Once a person commits a crime punishable by death, there is no reason not to continue committing the same crime over and over until, or unless, you are caught. You can be executed only once.

Moreover, a study done by The New York Times in 2016 on the murder rate in death-penalty states versus non-death-penalty states clearly showed that non-death-penalty states had a lower rate of crimes punishable by death than states that still had a death penalty. The state of Michigan has not had an execution since achieving statehood in 1837. That should be the model for states.

JOHN C.H. LAUGHLIN

Danville

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