Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 8

Death penalty doesn’t make economic sense

We are outraged when a family member or stranger kills a loved one. Whether it is premeditated or due to passion of the moment makes little difference. We want to extract revenge. We want to calm our feelings of anger.

We want to strike out at those who have caused us such pain. There are three problems with our reasoning at this point.

First, regardless of the actions of others, it is always our choice as to how we will react. Do we react with the same venom and lack of control of our passions? An eye for an eye? Just kill them and make me feel better. Isn’t that what they were feeling?

Second, we are told by supposedly rational lawmakers that the motive for the death penalty is not for revenge, but rather as a preventative measure; to warn other would be murderers of the consequences which will befall them should they, too, lack control of their passions. How’s that working for us so far?

Third, economically it makes absolutely no sense. The cost for a lifetime in prison is a pittance compared to the price of putting an inmate on death row. Is the anger so great that we are willing to pay 10 times, or more, the cost of life imprisonment just to see them dead? Killed?

How can we ever have an intelligent conversation about this if we are not even willing to be honest with ourselves?



Other school districts listened to the public, too

As a former longtime employee of the Olympia School District whose children all graduated from North Thurston schools, I was distressed to read the editorial (“Local school districts face hard choices on budgets”) comparing three local districts in a disparaging tone.

It is, of course, laudable that the Olympia School District involved the input of its community in the process of adopting next year’s budget. But the implication in the editorial’s statement that “we expect Tumwater and North Thurston officials to follow the same, proven path” was both factually incorrect and unnecessarily disparaging.

I am stunned that the editorial’s author overlooked the history published in his very own newspaper. A simple online search would have yielded at least six articles published in The Olympian from February through May describing the public process North Thurston was using, the three town meetings that the district held, the significant changes made to the initial draft of budget cuts in response to comments from the public, and the final draft budget adopted in May.

It seems to me that The Olympian’s editorial writers would serve our community in a more positive and helpful manner if they recognized the reality that all local districts were faced with tough choices and that all involved their communities in making the painful decisions necessitates by the cuts in state funding. The suggestion that only one district had done so was not only wrong – it was unnecessarily polarizing.