Many thanks to Rebekah Cartwright for her excellent letter about the repeal of capital punishment in Maryland.

Anyone who thinks capital punishment in the United States is a good idea should read "Dead Man Walking" by Sister Helen Prejean. Capital punishment has long been considered a barbaric practice and human rights violation by much of the civilized international community.

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Supporters of capital punishment sometimes point to Old Testament laws regarding "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But it is important to keep several things in mind about those laws. For one thing, procedures for determination of guilt were very strict. If there was doubt about guilt, there were safe cities set aside where the accused could go for refuge. And in those days it was more difficult, if not impossible, to separate a murderer from the general population for life.

Another thing about those Old Testament laws was that capital punishment was called for in cases that didn't even involve murder. Does anyone think today that the punishment for committing adultery or disobeying one's parents should be death by stoning?

Our lawmakers who voted to abolish capital punishment in Maryland got it right. For indisputable proof that innocent people have been put to death, go online and look up The Innocence Project. That's all we need to know. If we condone this practice, we have blood on our hands.

Judy Hake

Union Bridge

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