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Feedback: Death penalty is abhorrent
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It is with the utmost sadness that I have just heard  that the State of Georgia has put to death Troy Davis.

I find it utterly incredible that the United States stands along with China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen and Libya (under its former dictator) in retaining the abhorrent death penalty.

The only hope is that Georgia along with the other states which still retain this medieval form of punishment will come to their senses and realize that a humane society does not practise state–sanctioned killing, often on people who are totally innocent.

If the ordinary citizens and the powers–that–be in Georgia were to come to this conclusion, the death of Troy Davis will not have been in vain.

Gillian Allshorn

Death penalty is no deterrent


Regarding your recent column “Troy and Tariq:”

Even though it’s true that the death penalty has deep roots going back to the Old Testament as a civilizing force, I doubt that it has much bearing on modern society. In biblical times, and in some third world countries today, you may have your hand cut off for stealing or end up stoned to death for adultery.

These barbaric punishments did not take 20 years to come to pass. I doubt there is a criminal in the US who has ever decided to make a different and more ethical decision not to pull a trigger, or beat a homeless man to death, because the death penalty was forefront in their mind. If it were then they may not be criminals.

Unfortunately there have always have been criminals wherever there have been haves and have-nots, and a minority of have-nots have always decided that one way to get what they want is by violence.

I admit there are a few criminals out there who have committed unforgivable crimes that they have admitted to and laughed about and it is quite difficult to care what happens to such people.

The death penalty itself has never stopped a crime and only serves to satisfy the blood lust of those who support it.

Judy Smith

A plea for peace


My heart bleeds for the families of Mark MacPhail and Troy Davis.

When we lose a loved one to a tragedy we gain so much more. Kyle Decoteau was gunned down in Brooklyn, New York on July 20, 2011. He was a younger brother to me, a pupil from age eight until fourteen.

I tutored him in math, reading and writing. Kyle was clever, kind and loyal to any one he called a friend or his family. The emotions of those who loved him are beyond unexplainable at these trying times.

I know best what they are going through having lost my younger brother Randy Eugene Miller. He died in Harlem October 1, 1996, gunned down in cold blood. I spiraled into a rage of illogical thinking fueled by vengeance. I sought what I thought, would be justice at the time, find the killer and execute her myself.

God intervened and I looked for her with friends to no avail. Depression found its home in me for some time but time allowed for God’s intervention in my life. Time does not heal all wounds but God does.

My brother’s death made me reflect on my own life. I found a whole new appreciation for living.

With the number of young black men dying at alarming rates I know it’s my responsibility to give to you what has been given unto me, promoting Peace can preserve lives. Untimely tragedies can bring about a replenished respect for human life.

Human nature means at times we don’t appreciate loved ones while they’re with us and cherish them and memories of them once they are gone. All these things I’ve grown to understand and live my life teaching others.

I anger at times just as every one does but I don’t take action on my bad thoughts. Prayer has opened doors for me to receive the things not what I want but what I need. My imperfect patience makes this reality a bitter pill for me to swallow at times. I live my life praying for change in others and myself every day.

Mourn for a while but find your comfort in God. He has all of the answers some for which we are not yet groomed to bare. He knows the right season for which a precious fruit of closure is ripe enough for us to digest.

Kurtis L. Miller