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Continued: Readers Write (May 1): Ticket scalping, Donald Sterling, the death penalty

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  • Last update: April 30, 2014 - 6:42 PM

Two wealthy, accomplished men involved in despicable behavior; one is a hero, one is a villain. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Karl Klassner, Apple Valley

 

DEATH PENALTY

Another wake-up call for an unjust practice

With the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma, which resulted in the man essentially being tortured to death for more than 20 minutes, along with the new study published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) showing that one in 25 people on death row are innocent of the crime for which they are to be killed, can we at last curb our collective lust for revenge and abolish, as all other Western nations have long since done, the savagery of state-sponsored executions? The United States ranks fifth in the world in executions, just after the likes of China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The United States executed nearly four times as many people as North Korea in 2013. That is the moral company we keep.

More than 140 death-row convicts have been exonerated by new evidence in the past 40 years, often due to technological advances in DNA analysis. Given that fact and the findings of the NAS, it is not surprising that a number of persons executed in the past 20 years are now believed to have almost certainly been innocent. Their blood is on all of our hands, and it will remain there as long as we continue this barbaric practice.

Stephen Lehman, St. Paul

 

WATERSHED DISTRICT

Those honors must’ve been too embarrassing

I read in the April 26 edition of the Star Tribune that the head of the Minnehaha Watershed District, Eric Evenson-Marden, was ousted from his position. The reason given by Sherry Davis White, the district’s board president, was that “we felt that the district needed new leadership to guide the vision and work of the organization in future years.” The very next paragraph states that Minnehaha was named Watershed District of the Year for 2013 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and that it had been named “Watershed Hero” by the Freshwater Foundation. It occurs to me that the Minnehaha Watershed District needs a new board.

Pam Pontzer, Hastings

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