Tuesday, July 19, 2005

'We have become what we hate'

Ran across this letter to the editor in the Rutland Press in Vermont. It is in response to the federal death sentence handed down to Donald Fell. Vermont becomes the third state (joining Massachusetts and Iowa) that has recently seen a federal death sentence handed down even though it has no state death penalty statute.

Will we rest better if Fell dies?

Today, the jury sentenced Donald Fell to death for the brutal murder of Tressa King, an innocent woman with a family who loved her, who was just going to work.

Will we rest better now because we will kill Fell? Is his death about punishment or vengeance? Those of us who oppose the death penalty have sympathy for King's family and are horrified by the violent way she died.

My opposition to the death penalty automatically makes me an enemy of King's family. My empathy for her and sorrow for her family are lost in a fierce debate over whether the death penalty is a viable choice in a civilized society.

It is the same old battle cry. We kill to teach that killing is wrong, and we all become complicit in Fells' execution because we live in the state. My money will kill Fell. People will not stop killing people because we kill Fell.

What is worse is that those who imposed the death penalty won't have to be the ones who kill him. Someone else will do that for them.

We have become the thing we hate and that scares me.

Sandra Nall----Montpelier

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