- Police Beat
- The Forecaster
This is in response to Leah St. Hilaire’s letter, printed April 12. She was concerned about capital punishment and made the statement that “No one should have to die for a mistake they made.”
My husband and I had a childhood friend whom we had known most of our lives. He was murdered in Lewiston in October 2005. He had just turned 30 years old. Two men beat him with a baseball bat, in the woods, in the middle of the night, in cold blood, with no mercy. It was intentional and vicious. It was anything but a “mistake.”
Crimes such as negligent homicide and manslaughter are considered death-by-mistake crimes. They are usually committed out of ignorance or severely unfortunate circumstances. I agree that no one should have to die for those crimes because they are, indeed, mistakes. But murder is not a death-by-mistake crime, and capital punishment is, in some states (like it or not) the punishment for that intentional crime.
I would hope that St. Hilaire can understand that capital punishment is not just a punishment, but serves also as a deterrent to some criminals. It is handed out only to the most deserving of violent rapists and murderers, not mistake-makers.
I don’t believe capital punishment is the problem; the people committing the crimes are. No one has to die. Capital punishment can be avoided, but that’s up to the criminal, isn’t it?
Linda Clukey, Oxford