Las Vegas Sun

December 10, 2017

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Letter to the editor:

Dealth penalty should endure

In Assemblyman James Ohrenschall’s March 19 guest column, he wrote that “as a lawmaker entrusted with speaking as an advocate for my constituents and all Nevadans, it is my difficult task to take a close look at charged subjects and separate emotion from reality.”

I do not live in the Assembly district which Mr. Ohrenschall represents. Additionally, I am unaware of any position held by Mr. Ohrenshall that empowers him to represent me as one of “all Nevadans.” Therefore, I do not empower Mr. Ohrenshall to espouse his personal preferences as though they were mine, with respect to the death penalty in Nevada.

The assemblyman asserts that errors made during investigation of the crime allegedly committed, make the death penalty “unfair,” rather than the fault of the investigatory and/or trial process. Appellate review should disclose these and appropriately conclude the case.

In addition, repeated assertions that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent ignores the obvious fact that an executed criminal could never repeat the crime and therefore proves that, with respect to the accused, the death penalty is a 100 percent effective deterrent. It is impossible to determine the deterrent value of the death penalty for those whose crimes are undiscovered, uncommitted or the possible perpetrator is yet unborn.

Finally, the death penalty was duly approved as punishment for capital crimes in Nevada by the people. Apart from the method of executing those sentenced to death for a capital crime, what has changed in the criminal justice system to mitigate the seriousness of “capital offenses” so those convicted no longer deserve death? The excuse that drugs for use in euthanasia cannot be found seems a flimsy one in the face of 30,000 national opioid deaths due to overdoses.

I recommend the death penalty be retained and the new execution chamber be prepped for use.

If all men were angels, we wouldn’t need laws. Unenforced laws are worse than no laws at all.

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