Letters To The Editor

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 1:00am

State death penalty should be abolished


Although it appears as though popular opinion still favors the death penalty, I have chosen to be as unpopular and as opposed to the death penalty - or to what I believe should be called premeditated, state-sanctioned murder - as one can be.

In addition to the victims' families, there are other victims waiting on the sidelines who have largely been forgotten - the family members of the men and women on death row. These relatives are just as innocent and deserving of the same respect as any other victim. What gives society the right to take the life of their loved one as retribution for the life of someone else?

In the past, I have had two dear friends and a family member murdered. I was recently told by a victims' rights supporter that I must have not cared for or respected these people because I speak out against the death penalty. However, the simple fact is that I would never want anyone to suffer the same pain I have suffered.

Thankfully none of the people involved received the death sentence, and for that I am grateful. I have gone on with my life and have gotten past the anger and pain I felt. I am hopeful the people not only responsible for the crimes but also their families have found comfort and peace within themselves as well, and I am thankful their families will not experience the loss I have.

I have heard comments made that an execution is a humane way to end a life, and in recent days it has been referred to as "respectful." I would ask what would be humane about injecting chemicals into a person to kill him? Unless we have experienced, firsthand, the effects of the drugs used in an execution, we have no comprehension of what is happening to that person, especially since one of the drugs used in the execution process has been banned for use on animals because it was considered inhumane.

Is that how far society has deteriorated? We allow a drug considered inhumane for use on animals still to be used on people. For these reasons, I continue to hope that a moratorium can be enacted in this state. After detailed study has been done, there is no doubt it will show that the death penalty is irreparably broken and should be abolished.



Mistake doesn't change end result


Based on information I thought to be accurate, I have, in recent weeks, stated that all of Harding Academy's purchases of property between Blackburn Avenue and Harding Place were made in Harding Academy's name. In a letter to the Nashville City Paper, published on May 19, 2003, you [John Claybrook] stated I was incorrect.

Upon researching the issue more thoroughly, I find that I was indeed mistaken. The first one of the 11 lots that Harding Academy purchased (150 Blackburn Avenue) was initially made on January 29, 1991, in the name of George Mudter, a real estate attorney who was then a member of the Harding Academy Board of Trustees. Mr. Mudter transferred the property to Harding Academy about 11 and one-half years ago, on October 8, 1991. The remaining 10 lots were purchased in the name of Harding Academy from the outset.

I regret my error and will endeavor to be more careful in the future. Nevertheless, I maintain the assertion, which my original statement was intended to highlight, that residents of the Belle Meade Links have long been aware of Harding Academy's plans for fields on the property it has acquired.



Baseball fan sends photographer kudos


My compliments on your sports photos, especially the shot heard throughout the city May 18.

Of course I'm talking about the home run by Vanderbilt's Worth Scott, or should I say, the second after it was hit. The photo (May 19 edition) by Neil Brake caught perfectly the umpire, catcher and hitter watching the results of the last swing of the regular season to determine who wins, who loses; who goes to the tournament and who goes home.

Bobby Thompson's home run in 1951 was not as dramatic as this one!

Thanks for the coverage on the greatest baseball game ever played (one baseball fan's opinion).



Withdraw suit and save money


This letter is in response to the Harding Academy Board member (this guy gets published more than John Grisham!) who thinks Metro is unwisely risking $3.5 million of taxpayer money in defending itself against a lawsuit that Harding Academy initiated. Can we remind him that Harding Academy is the party that chose the number of $3.5 million and also chose to file the lawsuit. If he thinks it is a waste of money, just withdraw the lawsuit. Easy as that and it saves everybody some cash and more importantly, saves a neighborhood from wanton destruction.



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Filed under: City Voices