Keeping thugs alive is too expensive
OK, so we execute Richard Leavitt but keep Lacey Sivak and Thomas Creech alive. Perhaps we should do an evaluation of death row. If you have a death warrant, then suck it up and be glad you don’t have to go through what your victims did. You just get a needle; they got way more.
Taxpaying dollars should not keep these people alive. If you can kill someone, especially with a sock full of batteries, you should not be scared of death yourself. I am pretty sure that a bullet or a shot in their arm costs less than we have paid to keep them alive.
JESSICA HAMMER, Boise
State should abolish death penalty law
In the last year, Idaho citizens have witnessed two executions, with the expectation of more to come. Meanwhile, Maryland, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and New Hampshire are considering bills toward abolishing their death penalty. Our neighbor Oregon stopped all executions when their Gov. John Kitzhaber said he “simply cannot participate in something I believe to be morally wrong,” and declared a moratorium on executions until a committee investigates in depth the death penalty policy. What do these states know that Idaho does not?
The death penalty is a complex issue. Here in Idaho efforts to get our governor, our Legislature and our public to at least re-examine the policy and practice of the death penalty have fallen on deaf ears. No matter which side of this issue you are on, an honest evaluation of Idaho’s policy shows that it is neither swift nor certain and is not applied equally. Isn’t it time for Idaho to start considering a different approach?
Now is the time for Gov. Otter to pull together a blue-ribbon committee to examine the death penalty and to put a moratorium on all executions until the committee does its investigation.
HENRY KREWER, Boise
A barbaric practice
“Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders,” as the saying goes, and we the people of Idaho have committed another one. Are we safer now? Do we feel better? Is Danette Elg’s suffering soothed?
We used to argue that our cold, clinical executions would prevent other horrible crimes from occurring, but I haven’t seen much evidence of that.
Many of us think that stoning women or beheading men, as occurs in other parts of the world, is barbaric. Strapping someone down for a catheter and a lethal injection isn’t barbaric? It’s just too easy to get comfortable with our own barbarian practices.
DARCY JAMES, Boise
Libertarians pose threat to prosperity
In looking ahead to the upcoming elections this fall, we in the metro area of southwest Idaho need to be looking seriously at what is happening to the legislative makeup. The Republican Party has shifted so far to the right that they are no longer Republicans, but Libertarians.
If we ever have hopes of seeing improvements in the urban environment, we need to be electing moderate Republicans or Democrats. Otherwise, the Libertarians in the rural sector are going to hamper any urban issues that we need, such as a means of creating alternate forms of transportation, alternate energy and environmental protection for the general public. While I am not a tree-hugger, I do see problems with the current legislative Republican makeup, which would do away with most laws protecting the environment and keep those of us in Southwest Idaho buried in the lack of an adequate transportation network that would help not only traffic issues but environmental ones as well.
Let's elect folks who can focus on local issues and not be dictated to by the current Libertarian leadership, especially in the House.
JERRY BRANSON, Boise
Process suffers from suppression
It is obvious that the Republican Party thinks that it has a better chance of electing its members by selective voter suppression. It worked well in Florida in 2000 when Republicans removed about 12,000 eligible voters and won the presidency by 547. In Ohio in 2004, Republicans did not supply adequate voting machines to Democratic precincts and won another squeaker.
Now Florida and Texas are attempting to purge voter lists of nearly 500,000 registered voters.
Republicans in 12 states have passed legislation, written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, that will make it harder for the elderly, the poor, students and minorities to register by requiring a government-issued photo ID. In urban areas, many people do not own cars and have no need for a driver’s license, therefore do not have a photo ID. This is especially true of the elderly and the poor. Most of these states require proof of citizenship that people will have to pay to obtain.
Republicans claim that they are attempting to eliminate nearly nonexistent voter fraud. The Brennan Center estimates that for each documented case of voter impersonation that occurred over seven years, these laws will disenfranchise 350,000 voters.
LEO FADDIS, Kuna
Liberal columns are not welcome
Calling Dan Popkey (the angry liberal living in a conservative state) a newspaper “reporter” is quite the misnomer when all his columns are nothing less than editorials and hit pieces on high-ranking conservative people serving in state government who disagree with his ideology. With his dirt-digging efforts, Popkey tries to paint conservative leaders as dishonest, self-serving, intolerant and even criminal, when in fact his accusations are more about the legislation, actions, methods or circumstances, and even personal beliefs, that he doesn’t like. Popkey’s writings and rantings should be relegated to the Statesman’s liberal editorial page.
If there was ever an Olympic competition for the most straw-man arguments, Popkey would take the gold.
VANCE BARBOUR, Meridian
FIVE WIVES VODKA
The debate rages on
Having lived in Utah and Idaho, not to mention having spent a number of years in the great state of confusion, I believe I am well-qualified to offer my take on the Five Wives Vodka drama. It has already been mentioned that perhaps the five wives were married to five different men. However, I am more inclined to believe that the five wives were, indeed, married to the same man, but not necessarily at the same time.
And what if, just what if, it was that very same harried husband who created the Five Wives recipe? Surely there must be some statistical evidence that having five wives, simultaneously or sequentially, promotes creativity in the art of distillery. Besides, isn’t it written somewhere that one bad habit leads to another? Seems to me that Mr. Five Wives has an addictive personality.
TERRY WALTMAN SR., Boise
Obama policy sidesteps Congress
Why do we need a Congress? Congress votes no on work permits for the illegal children of illegal immigrants. Whoopee, Obama declares that there are work permits for you, to heck with what Congress says.
Now tell me, who can tell if they have been here five years? Are they 16? What proof is there? There are probably no birth certificates. I don’t know where this country is going, but I don’t like it.
As was said four years ago, we need change, and it can’t come fast enough.
PEMBROKE T. RATHBONE, Marsing